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Police Files

Human smuggling suspected at Crystal Cove as panga boat washes ashore

Laguna Beach Police, Newport Beach Police and California State Parks responded early yesterday morning, Monday, June 11, following a suspicious panga boat landing on the beach in the Reef Point area of Crystal Cove in what is believed to be a “human smuggling event.”

According to reports, authorities detected a craft in the ocean via infrared images showing what was believed to be a dozen or so passengers, until it was lost in the marine layer. 

All occupants were believed to have departed the area immediately upon reaching shore and have not been located since.

Police Files Panga Boat

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Courtesy of Laguna Beach PD

According to LBPD, a “human smuggling event” occurred at Crystal Cove on Monday when this panga boat washed ashore

“We found the boat around 6:30 this [Monday] morning,” said Jorge Moreno, Information Officer, OC Parks Dept.

He could not comment any further regarding the event and said that all other questions need to be directed to the CA Border Patrol. 

Shortly after 7 a.m., Laguna Beach Police deployed drones as part of the search effort.

By 7:35 a.m., LBPD reported that the suspects were outstanding and believed to have left the area.

“There were no people. It was already abandoned. There were just remnants in the boat,” said LBPD PIO Sgt Cota.

The panga boat was removed from the beach as the investigation continued.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact CA Border Patrol at (619) 216-4000.

Near record rescues by LB Lifeguards over weekend 

With warm summer-like weather over the weekend and large pounding waves, LB Marine Safety was slammed serving our beaches making a real difference. 

Swimmer at Pearl Street receives help from good Samaritan

On Saturday, June 10 at Pearl Street Beach, a 27-year-old Santa Rosa man reportedly ran into the water diving head first into the surf and hit his head. He was floating face down unconscious, when a good Samaritan aided him.

“At that point he was extracted by a good Samaritan and they began CPR,” said LB Marine Safety Captain Kai Bond. “Our units arrived and provided basic life support per our OC EMS standards.”

Police Files Pearl Street

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Submitted photo

A good Samaritan rescued an unconscious diver, providing CPR until help arrived

The man was taken to the hospital via ambulance with medics to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. His status is unknown.

The good Samaritan was reported to be a male, approximately 20 years old.

2-year-old toddler injured on rocks taken to Mission Hospital

A medical emergency call was received from an incident that occurred at the 100 Block of Mountain Road on Saturday, June 9 at 5:50 p.m. 

The incident happened at the rocks leading to the stairway at Mountain Road, according to Cpt Bond. 

According to reports, a father was holding his 2-year-old daughter when he slipped and fell onto the rocks. The toddler also fell, sustaining a head injury.

The 2-year-old child was transported to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo via a medic transport.

“Missing” boogie boarder found safe and unscathed on the beach

On Saturday, June 9 at 5:22 p.m. at Camel Point Drive, LBPD received a call about a missing person, a swimmer, in the ocean. It was reported that the missing swimmer was an 11-year-old boy with no shirt and pale black shorts, riding a boogie board.

“A child was reported to have gone missing in the water at Camel Point. The reporting party didn’t see the child and he was found approximately an hour later at Aliso Beach,” Cpt Bond said. 

According to the report, the OC Coast Guard was notified sending rescuers in Duke, a MEDEVAC-capable search and rescue helicopter.

The concerned citizen who alerted authorities reported that about an hour prior she had seen a yellow boogie board floating by itself.

Luckily, at 6:37 p.m., the young boogie boarder was found back on the sand.

Missing scuba diver at Crescent Bay found unharmed

On Sunday, June 10 at 11:08 a.m., it was reported that a scuba diver was missing from Crescent Bay.

Marine Safety, LBPD and LBFD responded.

“The reporting party said that they were separated from their dive partner approximately 400 feet off of the shore at the north end of Crescent Bay Beach,” Cpt Bond said. “Lifeguards commenced a search of the area. The diver came up out of the water at the south end and was being rescued by a lifeguard.”

The lifeguard quickly identified him as the missing person, the rescue was effective, and the scuba diver was brought to shore.

The scuba diver was described as a male, approximately 50 years old, and luckily, he didn’t need any medical attention.

“Over the weekend, we had 192 rescues. We provided medical aid to 92 people, 5,700 public contacts and made 3,980 prevents, preventative actions,” Cpt Bond explained.

“It exceeds the normal amount based for on for this time of year based on the fact that there was good weather forecasted long term for the weekend, so people were gearing up for the weekend because they knew the weather would be nice,” Cpt Bond said. “In addition to the large surf that we got that was 3 to 5 feet on Saturday, [we also had] 6 and 8 feet sets on Sunday consistently throughout the day.”


When nature calls, don’t answer…several unsavory species spotted too close to home

There seems to be a guest spot on Wild Kingdom airing in the 5000 block of Avenida Del Sol recently with critters running amok, causing chaos, all within two days.

On Saturday, June 9 at 11:32 a.m., a woman called LBPD to report an “unknown animal in her bedroom,” notifying officers that she was scared. She described the intruder as having a long tail and questioned whether it could be a lizard or a snake.

The worried woman was advised to close her door and wait for an Animal Services officer to help quell her woes.

Earlier in the week on Wednesday, June 6 at 6:27 p.m., also in the 5000 block of Avenida Del Sol, a woman called LBPD to report and unwanted dinner guest. A coyote had a meal a la skunk in her backyard and kept leftovers for later. She asked Animal Services to assist in removing the skunk remains from her backyard. She must have thought the meal really stunk, most likely giving it bad reviews.

Oh dear, a possible “Bambi” scenario occurred at the 23000 block of Via Campo Verde on Wednesday, June 6 at 10:47 a.m. A person called to report that a mother deer allegedly left behind her baby deer, abandoning it. 

Police Files Fawn

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Courtesy of SpottedFawnMarketing.com

A baby fawn is abandoned by her mother in a Bambi gone bad scenario, the actual fawn is not pictured, rather a stand in model for representational purposes

However, this testimony would probably not hold up in court because it was hearsay, the person reporting the crime did not actually witness the mama deer in the act.

On a positive note, the caring caller asked LBPD if it was ok for the baby deer to stay on the property with the gate ajar.

Beware snakes are here, there, and everywhere in Laguna Beach these days.

On Wednesday, June 6 at 5:39 p.m., LBPD was contacted about a rattlesnake on a residents’ front porch at the 1200 block of La Mirada Street. There were no reported knocks or doorbell sounds heard, so that rules out a ding-dong-ditch motive or a dashed delivery debacle detected.

On Saturday, June 9 at 10:53 a.m., at the 1900 block of Temple Hills Drive, LBPD received a call reporting that a snake was in a residents’ garage. According to the police report, the raucous rattler got its justice and was “in custody.” Handcuffs?