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Border Patrol agents responding to a suspicious pleasure boat coming ashore in Mission Beach on Monday night found fuel cans and personal flotation devices — but no people, a federal spokesperson said.

Agents investigating the suspected smuggling incident went to the beach around 8:45 p.m. Monday and inspected the abandoned boat, eight life jackets and four gas cans. The boat was seized by Customs and Border Protection officers.

San Diego police said the boat came ashore near Ocean Front Walk and Manhattan court, south of lifeguard tower 18. Witnesses told police at least five people had been on the boat.

Federal officials said maritime smuggling events are at an all-time high in Southern California. So far this fiscal year, about 1,150 arrests have been made connected to around 250 smuggling events, officials said.

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Anyone who spots suspicious activity is asked to call the Joint Harbor Operations Center at (800) 854-9834.

Source: This post first appeared on sandiegouniontribune.com

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