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Big Bend Agents Rescue Struggling Immigrant in Rio Grande

Release Date: 
October 5, 2017

Alpine, TX –U.S. Border Patrol Agents from Alpine, Texas rescued an undocumented immigrant on Oct. 3 who was swept away by fast currents in the Rio Grande River in south Brewster County.

Border Patrol Agents conducting routine line-watch operations in Horse Canyon spotted an individual in Mexico from the U.S. side of the Rio Grande. Agents spoke to the man who relayed from a distance that he had been left behind by a group of suspected alien smugglers.

The subject further indicated that he wanted to turn himself in to the Agents, due to his lack of resources and knowledge about the area. Agents immediately instructed the subject not to enter the river because of safety concerns. The subject then jumped into the water, despite the agent’s warning. He was immediately swept away by strong currents, and began struggling to swim.

The situation was life threatening, so Agents reacted quickly and were able to pull him to safety. The subject was unharmed in the incident.

“U.S. Border Patrol Agents work around-the-clock to help secure our southwest border, and they are fully aware that circumstances of an enforcement role can change to a life-saving effort in the wink of an eye,” according to Big Bend Sector Acting Chief Victor Velasquez.

After the rescue, the 22-year old man claimed to be in good health and refused medical treatment. He was taken into custody and transported to the Alpine Border Patrol Station for processing. Agents learned he is an undocumented immigrant from Chiapas, Mexico.

Big Bend Sector includes 510 miles of southwest border that extends from Sierra Blanca, Texas to Sanderson. It is the largest Border Patrol Sector on the U.S-Mexico border.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021