US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep CBP.gov current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

CBP First Responder Training Saves a Life

Release Date: 
June 30, 2010

Calexico, Calif. - U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro Sector rescued an individual attempting to swim across the All American Canal approximately three miles west of the Calexico, Calif. port of entry yesterday morning.

On Monday, at approximately 10:30 a.m., a Remote Video Surveillance System operator advised agents of three individuals swimming across the All American Canal. As agents responded to the area the individuals swam back across the canal toward the south bank. Two of the individuals made it back successfully and absconded to Mexico, leaving behind one person who appeared to be struggling in the canal.

The individual turned around and attempted to swim back north in the canal. The agent immediately retrieved and deployed a rescue bag from a service vehicle and pulled the individual back to safety. It was established the 27-year-old male Mexican citizen did not require medical attention, so he was transported to the El Centro Border Patrol station for processing according to guidelines.

Rescue bags contain a flotation device which is attached to a rope that varies in length between 50 and 75 feet. They are typically tossed to individuals who become trapped or fall under duress in water environments and need to be pulled to safety.

As part of the Border Patrol Border Safety Initiative, all agency vehicles are equipped with first aid kits, water containers, and water safety devices such as the rescue bag. Additionally, all agents are certified as first responders and are trained to respond to a situation such as this one.

According to Chief Patrol Agent Jeffrey A. Calhoon of the El Centro sector, Border Patrol agents do more than just patrol the border.

"Not only are we committed to keeping our borders safe," he said, "we are also committed to the preservation of life."

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017