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Border Patrol Explorers build life jacket stations

Release Date: 
March 29, 2018

OROVILLE, Wash. – The Oroville Border Patrol Explorers along with members of the United States Border Patrol will be having an event officially unveiling new life jacket stations. The event will take place at 3 p.m., April 8, at Deep Bay Park in Oroville.

Oroville Station
U.S. Border Patrol agents and Explorers
from the Oroville Station built life jacket
stations at Lake Osoyoos in Washington
in an effort to help prevent drownings.

The creation of these stations stems from a tragic accident that occurred in August of 2015. The evening of Aug. 17, 2015, Border Patrol Agent (BPA) John Tafolla boarded a boat on Lake Osoyoos and responded to a search-and-rescue call for a young girl who was in distress at Haynes Point, near the United States border. When BPA Tafolla arrived to the area, another vessel was pulling 12-year-old Naziah Mohammed’s body from the water. An investigation concluded that Naziha did not know how to swim and was not wearing a life jacket while walking the shoreline in shallow water with her friend when she suddenly stepped into deeper water. The windy conditions that day and the sudden drop-off and steepness of the lake bottom contributed to dragging Naziha further away from the shore leading to her drowning near the shoreline in 10 feet of water.

BPA Tafolla, a father of three young children and the lead advisor of the Oroville Border Patrol Station’s Explorer Post, recognized a way to perhaps prevent another drowning tragedy. He, the United States Border Patrol and the Border Patrol Explorers made it a priority to work with the City of Oroville, Midway Building Supply and other local stakeholders to build two life jacket donor stations on Lake Osoyoos at Deep Bay Park and Veterans Memorial Park.

After obtaining the necessary permission from the City of Oroville, the Border Patrol Explorers along with off-duty Oroville Station Border Patrol agents completed the project in the fall of 2017.

Patrol Agent in Charge Kolo Moser stated, “As members of this community, we take pride in any opportunity to help protect those we serve. The fact that our agents take their personal time to work with the Border Patrol Explorers on such a worthwhile cause, shows our commitment even after we finish our regular work responsibilities.”

Last modified: 
March 30, 2018