A boat landed near Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach Thursday morning, alerting immigration officials as well as San Diego law enforcement.
A panga was spotted on the sand at the end of Hornblend Street at approximately 7 a.m.
At least two dozen people exited the boat and were seen getting into two vehicles and leaving the area, San Diego police said.
Lifeguards and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the area along with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
"Usually in suspected smuggling events like this one, they're coordinating with crews on the ground," said Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Michael Scappechio.