DEL RIO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents working with the Eagle Pass South Station marine unit rescued 28 people from the Rio Grande River, Aug. 15.
“These individuals found themselves in a life-threating situation, which is unfortunate and far too common as smugglers continue to show no empathy for people they attempt to cross illegally into the United States,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz. “Had our agents not been there to provide rescue efforts, the situation could have ended in tragedy.”
Marine agents rescued 28 Honduran nationals, including 14 children, after the group attempted to cross the Rio Grande River near the Eagle Pass Golf Course. The group entered the river guided by a smuggler who left them stranded in high-current waist-deep water. Marine agents quickly maneuvered their patrol vessel to the group and began assisting people out of the water. While the agents were helping people onto the boat, several people were swept away by the strong current. Marine agents aboard a second vessel were able to safely rescue them and shuttle them to the U.S. riverbank. The children rescued ranged from 8 months to 17 years of age.
The group was evaluated by U.S. Border Patrol EMTs and processed per CBP guidelines.
An increase of water release from Amistad Dam has elevated the river to near flood stage, creating dangerous conditions for anyone attempting to cross the Rio Grande River.
The Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is part of the Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations. To report suspicious activity call the Del Rio Sector’s toll free number at 1-866-511-8727.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.