12 detained after panga boat washes ashore on California beach

A dozen people were arrested Monday after they attempted to enter the United States illegally from Mexico in a small makeshift boat that washed ashore in California, authorities said.

Firefighters examined those aboard after the panga boat – a type of small fishing vessel commonly used by smugglers – showed up off Huntington Beach about 2 p.m. Monday.

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Immigration officials told FOX11 a concerned citizen spotted the makeshift boat off the coast and called in the tip. When the boat made landfall, about 100 miles north of the U.S.-Mexican border, everyone on board ran for shelter.

Authorities said the men and women were cold but uninjured.

Nine Chinese men, a Chinese woman, and two Mexican men were handed over to federal custody. One of the Mexican men is believed to be the smuggler.

According to CBSLA, the boat first made entry via Anaheim Bay, which is the property of the U.S. Navy.

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It wasn’t immediately clear where the boat originated and it was turned over to the Naval Weapons station for further inspection, the news station reported.