A small fishing boat, similar to the types of vessels linked to smuggling incidents, was recovered off the coast of Dockweiler Beach in Playa del Rey early Nov. 8, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said.
Sheriff’s Department Marina del Rey Station deputies and Los Angeles County Baywatch lifeguards were called at about 6:55 a.m. regarding a “panga” type vessel that was seen floating in the surf line just south of Marina del Rey harbor, Sheriff’s officials said.
The boat was discovered vacant but deputies found a trail of footprints leading from the waterline to a beach exit point nearby, a Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said.
A search of the area and boat was conducted, but no property was discovered.
Authorities recovered the “panga” from the water and the vessel was seized as evidence.
The case is being investigated as a maritime smuggling incident by L.A. B.E.S.T., the United States Coast Guard and United States Customs and Boarder Protection, the Sheriff’s spokesperson said.
Another small fishing boat that was investigated in connection with a smuggling incident was discovered in the area earlier this year.