A panga boat which authorities say may have been carrying as many as 20 people has been discovered in the ocean off of Montecito.
The empty, 30 foot long boat was discovered about 200 yards off the coast of Montecito just after 8 a.m. Wednesday morning (02/01). Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol officers, and U.S. Coast Guard sailors determinated that the boat had at one point been carrying about 20 people. However, no one was found during a search of the shoreline.
Similar craft have been used recently to smuggle people, or drugs into the country illegally from Mexico, with several turning up along the Ventura, and Santa Barbara County coastlines.