The Coast Guard was notified of the capsized vessel about 11 a.m. Monday near Pigeon Cove, and rescue crews were dispatched to find anyone possibly in distress. No one was located after a search by air and sea. Law enforcement officials concluded that smugglers could have been using the boat, according to the Coast Guard.
The 18- to 20-foot boat is similar to a panga, an open-hull fishing vessel capable of rapid travel in the open seas that is commonly used by smugglers, according to the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard said Mexican smugglers have recently been traveling farther up the California coast to avoid patrols.
“This smuggling activity helps fund violent international criminal organizations,” Cmdr. Capt. Greg Stump of the Coast Guard’s San Francisco Sector said in a statement. “We’re asking the public to help us stop smuggling by reporting any suspicious activity.”