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Agent Saves Girl from Drowning; More than 20 People Rescued over Weekend

Release Date: 
July 25, 2011

South Padre Island, Texas - An off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent assigned to the agency's headquarters office in Washington, D.C., was involved in a dramatic rescue of a young girl while vacationing at the island over the weekend.

The agent was at the beach on July 22, when he noticed a woman in the water motioning to beachgoers that her children were in distress. Without hesitation, the agent ran toward the children, who seemed to be struggling to stay afloat. Two other people also joined in the rescue attempt and pulled two of the children to a sandbar. The third child was pulled farther out into the open water by a rip tide. The young child was screaming for help and struggling to stay above water.

The agent acquired a flotation device from another person and swam to the child. The agent swam back toward the beach with the young child and was met by several people who carried the child ashore.

Emergency medical services personnel, already standing by, began providing first aid and transported the child to a nearby hospital.

In another rescue on July 23, agents from the Falfurrias Station received information from the Brooks County Sheriff's Office in reference to a 911 call that was placed by a group of lost subjects on a ranch near Falfurrias, Texas. Agents responded to the call and were able to locate the group. One of the subjects required medical attention and was transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation. That same day, in an unrelated incident, agents rescued 12 illegal aliens at the Falfurrias Checkpoint, who were hidden inside a stifling hot moving van. The illegal aliens were rescued after a Border Patrol K-9 detected their presence during a primary inspection at the checkpoint. Upon further inspection the people were found hidden under a mattress and behind other items of furniture.

In all, agents rescued more than 20 people over the weekend. The majority are attributed to be a direct result of "Operation Heatwave." Operation Heatwave commenced in the Rio Grande Valley Sector last week in response to the high temperatures and in an attempt to save the lives of immigrants who find themselves in distress in the harsh brush country of Brook's County.

To report suspicious activity, call the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector's toll-free telephone number at 800-863-9382.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017