Infant Migrant Drowns After Smuggler’s Raft Capsizes in Texas Border River

Illegal immigrants use inner-tubes to cross the Rio Grande River at the U.S-Mexico border in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, just across from Laredo, Texas, Saturday, June 2, 2007. Congressional lawmakers are working on an immigration bill that would legalize millions of unlawful immigrants and beef up border security. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
AP File Photo/LM Otero

A 10-month-old migrant child drowned and three people are missing after a smuggler’s raft capsized in the Rio Grande while illegally crossing the border near Eagle Pass, Texas. The incident occurred late Wednesday night.

“What we’re dealing with now is senseless tragedy,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a written statement. “The men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol have been doing everything in their power to prevent incidents like this. And yet, callous smugglers continue to imperil the lives of migrants for financial gain.”

Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Eagle Pass South Station detained a migrant Wednesday night at about 9:45 p.m. they found after he illegally entered the U.S. from Mexico. The migrant informed the agents he was part of a large group that was attempting to cross the Rio Grande in a rubber raft. He told the agents the raft capsized, tossing all of the raft’s occupants into the cold, swiftly moving waters of the river.

He told the agents that his wife, two sons (ages 10 months and six years), and a seven-year-old nephew were part of the group who had been swept away by the swiftly moving river. Agents learned that an adult male and a female child had also gone missing.

Officials immediately initiated a search and rescue operation with “all available resources.”

Shortly after the search began, the agents found a woman and a female child in distress in the river. A Border Patrol agent jumped into the river and pulled both to safety. The agents identified the woman and child as being the wife and six-year-old son of the man detained earlier.

Agents trained as emergency medical technicians treated the boy on the scene and then rushed him to an area hospital for “advanced treatment,” Border Patrol officials reported.

Other agents found a man and his juvenile son on the riverbank on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande. Not needing medical attention, the father and son were transported to the Border Patrol station for processing.

Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) agents arrived on the scene and began “an intensive water-borne search effort.” Later, on Thursday morning, the BORSTAR agents found the deceased body of the missing ten-month-old boy. His body had floated several miles downstream, officials stated.

Border Patrol agents coordinated with Mexican Government officials to carry on the search for three people who remain missing.

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 Facebook.


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