Panga boat washes ashore in Laguna Beach in suspected human smuggling incident

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Investigators are searching for several suspects possibly involved in a human smuggling incident after a panga boat was abandoned upon landing on shore in Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach police said they spotted and followed about 12 people on board the boat between 4 and 6 a.m., until it got lost in the marine layer.

Authorities said the passengers ditched the boat and fled upon getting to shore in the Crystal Cove State Park area. Authorities said it was believed to be a human smuggling incident.

Laguna Beach police and border protection officers searched for the suspects but did not find anyone. The search was terminated by 10 a.m.

The suspects remain at large, and the panga boat was being removed from the beach as an investigation continued.

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