RANCHO PALOS VERDES (KTLA) –– About two dozen suspected illegal immigrants were arrested after a panga boat was spotted off the coast of Rancho Palos Verdes.
The 25-foot panga was spotted around 5:15 a.m. Monday about 200 yards off the coast of Abalone Cove. It made landfall by about 5:45 a.m.
Panga boats are commonly used to smuggle drugs or immigrants into the United States.
KTLA’s Sky5 was overhead as dozens of people were handcuffed right off Rancho Palos Verdes Drive South.
Authorities arrested 25 people, 19 men and six women, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials said.
They were searching for additional suspects who may have swam to shore and escaped.
Two vans, one registered to a Ventura medical transportation firm, were found parked near the beach. Authorities said the vans were possible pickup vehicles.
The incident follows a fatal encounter last week off Santa Barbara in which a Coast Guardsman was killed when two suspected smugglers rammed his vessel with their panga.