Border Patrol agents in South Texas rescued two Mexican nationals from drowning while swimming in the Rio Grande River. Mexicans along the south bank of the river notified the agents as to the two men’s distress.
The agents, working river patrol on an Air and Marine Operations boat in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector, observed a group of people along the riverbank attempting to draw their attention to two men in the water. The men struggled to stay afloat in the river. Agents determined the men to be in distress and in danger of drowning and quickly reacted to the situation, information obtained by Breitbart Texas from the U.S. Border Patrol revealed.
After hearing the calls for help, the Border Patrol agents pulled their boat alongside the struggling men. They pulled the two men from the water and returned them to shore where the gathered group cheered, applauded, and thanked the agents for saving the lives of the two men.
Responding to an email inquiry, RGV Sector Spokesman Isaac Villegas told Breitbart Texas the two men were swimming and were not attempting to illegally cross the border.
“We are very proud of our agents, their actions which ultimately prevented the loss of human life,” said Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla, Jr.
Rescues of foreign nationals in distress in the Rio Grande River, and elsewhere, occurs on a regular basis. Often, agents put their lives in danger to rescue migrants in dangerous circumstances caused by human smugglers who abandon them along their journey.
In December 2016, RGV agents rescued 11 illegal immigrants abandoned in the middle of the river by cartel-connected human smugglers. The agents responded to a life-threatening situation after human smugglers forced a raft to capsize, tossing seven children and four adults into the water. Agents reported one of the children as an infant, according to information obtained in at the time from Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Marlene Castro.
Because of the darkness, the agents were forced to approach the party in the water slowly, officials stated. One agent in a boat jumped into the water while other agents were throwing life jackets to the migrants having trouble staying afloat.
Other agents jumped into the water from the riverbank to assist the struggling children. Agents later determined that five of the seven children were under the age of nine, including one child that was only one-year-old, Castro stated. The agents quickly got the people into rescue boats while the smugglers, who were wearing life jackets the entire time, swam back to Mexico. No injuries occurred in the incident.
Earlier this week, Breitbart Texas reported 31 U.S. Border Patrol agents received awards for life-saving actions in the course of their duties. Some of those involved rescuing illegal immigrants from the river, while others involved providing assistance to U.S. citizens and fellow law enforcement officers in distress.