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Border Patrol Agent Rescues Five-Year-Old Honduran Girl From Drowning in Rio Grande

Release Date: 
April 11, 2014

EAGLE PASS, Texas A Border Patrol agent rescued a five-year-old Honduran girl who was struggling to stay afloat in the Rio Grande River early Friday morning.

At approximately 2:30 a.m., Border Patrol agents assigned to the Eagle Pass Border Patrol Station observed a group of 11 subjects crossing the Rio Grande near the Eagle Pass International Railroad Bridge. An agent observed a young woman – later identified as a 24-year-old Honduran national - struggling in the water, attempting to pull a child across the river. The woman let go of the child - later identified as her younger sister - who tried to swim on her own, but started to sink rapidly. Without hesitation, the agent jumped into the river and swam approximately 25 yards, to where he last saw the girl, as she disappeared underwater. He located the child, and pulled her to safety on the United States side of the river.

“I am so proud of our agents for their quick thinking and selfless sacrifice, and this situation is no exception,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch. “The majority of our agents are certified first responders and trained in CPR. They are able to determine if a person’s injuries require advanced medical attention.  This clearly demonstrates the dangers involved with attempting to enter the United States illegally. Fortunately, our agents were in the right place at the right time.”

Once they were safe on land, agents were able to determine that the girl was in no immediate danger and she was reunited with her sister.

A total of 11 Honduran citizens were detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents, eight of whom were minors, including three three-year-olds, and a 10-month-old baby. The group was transported to the Eagle Pass Border Patrol Station and processed according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection policy.

United States Border Patrol agents successfully rescue a multitude of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the United States by traversing the waters of the Rio Grande, every year. Unfortunately, some who attempt the dangerous swim are not so fortunate and succumb to the river's undertow. This is the first water rescue in Del Rio Sector for Fiscal Year 2014. During FY13, Del Rio Sector agents performed seven successful water related rescues.

The Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.