2 men found dead near capsized panga boat in Ocean Beach

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Two men were found dead in the surf near a capsized boat in Ocean Beach early Aug. 2 in what authorities believe was a human smuggling attempt.

Police, medics and lifeguards found the 28-foot-long panga boat on the sand and the two bodies in the water around 4 a.m. in a spot near Brighton Avenue.

U.S. Border Patrol agents, who responded because of “very familiar ties” between panga boats and human smuggling off San Diego’s coast, found six to eight life jackets scattered on the beach and personal items in the boat, a spokesman said.

The Coast Guard launched a search for any other survivors but suspended the effort about 9:30 a.m. Authorities asked anyone with information to call the Coast Guard-led Joint Harbor Operations Center at (619) 278-7031.

Border Patrol agents in the San Diego area have documented more than 210 marine smuggling “events” since October, Agent Justin Castrejon, a spokesman, said in a statement.

“This human smuggling tactic is extremely dangerous, as evident by the outcome of today’s event,” he said.


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