Imperial Beach, Calif. - Members of the Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue team Sarturday rescued seven male Mexican nationals who were stranded in U.S. territory on a sand bar in the Tijuana River Channel just inland from the Pacific Ocean.
According to the group, they had become stranded during their attempt to enter the country illegally after their smugglers left them near the river mouth on Friday and directed them to wait for their return. On Saturday morning at around 6 a.m., the group became worried as the incoming tide began to surround them. One of the stranded used his cell phone to call the Tijuana Police Department to convey their life-threatening predicament. Tijuana officials quickly notified the Border Patrol of the situation and agents soon spotted the seven on a sand bar in the Tijuana River Channel. The Border Patrol agents determined that the recent rains had created an extremely dangerous situation for the individuals and immediately activated the search and rescue team.
At about 7:30 a.m., the BORSTAR unit arrived at the south end of Seacoast Blvd in Imperial Beach, put a boat in the Tijuana River Channel, and soon reached the group. The seven individuals were examined by the BORSTAR agents and were found to be in good physical condition and did not need medical attention. The seven individuals, including a 16-year-old, were then ferried to safety where other Border Patrol agents took custody for processing.
The U.S. Border Patrol implemented a Border Safety Initiative in 1998, to enhance the safety and security of our border through the rapid deployment of emergency personnel and resources. Highly-trained Border Patrol agents are committed to ensuring the safety for anyone in distress. Last fiscal year Border Patrol agents in San Diego rescued 53 people. Since October 1, 2009, agents have rescued five people in San Diego Sector.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.