VENTURA COUNTY – On August 12, 2021, just before 8:00 a.m., a California State Parks ranger spotted a panga boat off the coast of the Pacific Coast Highway. The boat carried 20 people who were rescued with assistance from Ventura County Sheriff Search and Rescue Aviation/Medical Team and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Humanitarian aid for passengers suffering from dehydration & hunger was provided by the sheriff’s office & Ventura County Fire Department. Some individuals were transported to the hospital. The investigation will be turned over to Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“It is becoming more of a common occurrence for Panga boats suspected of human or drug trafficking to try to come ashore along our coastline,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Often State Parks rangers are the first ones to encounter the situation and begin rescue or enforcement operations.”