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Possible panga boat sighted off coast between Cayucos and Harmony

The San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office says a panga boat, similar to the one pictured above, was spotted off the coast of Cayucos and Harmony but was not located.
The San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office says a panga boat, similar to the one pictured above, was spotted off the coast of Cayucos and Harmony but was not located. Courtesy of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office says a suspected panga boat was reported traveling near the coast between Cayucos and Harmony nearly two weeks ago, but the resident didn’t immediately report the incident to authorities. The boat has not been located.

A sheriff’s spokesman says it is likely the boat successfully unloaded its cargo and moved on.

The resident reported seeing a skiff carrying between 15 and 20 people traveling off the remote portion of coastline on May 24 but did not think to report it to officials until several days later, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Cipolla.

Given the witness’s account, investigators believe the boat was transporting undocumented immigrants from Mexico — not drugs — and dropping them off somewhere on the coast.

In light of the report, the Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents to call 911 at any sighting of the boats so officers can respond immediately.

Matt Fountain: 805-781-7909, @MattFountain1

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