Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents rescued 17 migrants from drowning in the Rio Grande River in three incidents on Thursday.
Agents assigned to the Eagle Pass Station heard cries for help from the direction of the Rio Grande River that separates Mexico from the U.S. on Wednesday morning at about 2:30 a.m. The agents called for a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) helicopter aircrew to assist in searching for the distressed migrants, according to information obtained from Del Rio Sector Border Patrol officials.
The aircrew found a group of eight migrants stranded on a small island in the middle of the Texas border river. The aircrew directed Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) agents from the Del Rio Sector’s Special Operations Detachment to the scene. The BORSTAR agents successfully retrieved the migrants from the island and moved them safely to the U.S. riverbank, officials stated.
Shortly after noon, a group of six migrants entered the Rio Grande River and attempted to cross illegally into the U.S. The group quickly became overwhelmed by the high water levels and swiftly moving current, officials reported. A Border Patrol marine unit approached the group in a boat and rescued the migrants.
About three hours later, Eagle Pass Station agents spotted a group of migrants in distress in the border river. The migrants were a short distance from a legal port of entry, Bridge No. 2, officials stated. A marine unit approached the endangered migrants and transported them to the riverbank. An ambulance transported the migrants to the Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center in Eagle Pass, Texas, for evaluation and treatment. Following an examination, doctors released the migrants to U.S. Border Patrol agents.
In total, Border Patrol agents rescued 17 migrants in a single day from the Rio Grande River. Officials reported that 16 of the migrants came to the U.S. from Honduras. The groups included six children ranging from one-year-old to 17, officials stated. Agents also identified one Guatemalan child, but no Guatemalan adults.
Eagle Pass is across the river from Piedras Negras, Coahuila — the scene of the latest arrival of caravan migrants from Honduras. Officials said that since February 4, Del Rio Sector agents have rescued a total of 35 migrants from the dangerous river.
“As the number of migrants crossing the dangerous Rio Grande River has risen over the past several weeks, so too have our number of rescues,” Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak said in a written statement. “No loss of life or injury took place during these operations thanks to the quick actions taken by our agents, of whom I’m extremely proud.”
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face