The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for possible people in distress, after discovering a beached panga boat with dozens of bales of marijuana onboard in Malibu early Saturday.
At about 6:20 a.m., the Coast Guard's Los Angeles-Long Beach station received a report of an abandoned 35-foot panga vessel, with 41 bales of marijuana that weighed nearly 600 pounds, officials said.
A helicopter crew was dispatched to conduct a search for possible people in distress, officials said. The Coast Guard is on scene to help with cleanup and removal of the panga boat from the beach.
The Ventura County Sheriff's Department, Ventura County Fire Department, U.S. Border Patrol and California State Park Lifeguards responded to help with the recovery and removal of the panga and contraband.
Pangas are "Mexican-style fishing boats, " often powered by outboard motors, used to smuggle drugs and people into the country, a U.S. Border Patrol spokesman previously told The Times.
Earlier this year, an abandoned panga-style boat that may have been used for human smuggling was found on a beach in Carlsbad. Five fuel canisters were left aboard the vessel, and eight life jackets had been tossed nearby.
This article is written by Brittny Mejia from The Los Angeles Times and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.