Gulfport, Miss. -- On March 9, Supervisory U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Roy Gauthreaux was on his way home from work when he saw an SUV shortly after it entered the waters of Turkey Creek following the day's soaking rains and high winds.
Gauthreaux and another passing motorist dove into the waters only to find the occupants of the SUV were a young mother and her two babies. The mother frantically told the men she was unable to swim and needed help with her 20-month-old toddler and four-month-old infant.
The vehicle was almost fully submerged when the two men pulled the mother and children out of the front driver's side window. The force of the current was so strong that they couldn't reach the closer bank and had to swim to the opposite bank. They were then able to pull the woman and her children from the water onto dry ground.
Gulfport Police Department officers arrived on the scene as the men were coming over the embankment. By this time the vehicle was totally submerged. The family was transported to a local hospital. All occupants were released from the hospital without injuries.
"Officer Gauthreaux's quick and unselfish act exemplifies what a CBP officer is trained to do and does daily in his or her very complex work assignments," said Director of Field Operations Robert Gomez of CBP's New Orleans Field Office. "The men and women of CBP are charged with the protection of our nation's borders. As is in this case, often times those duties relate to the public on a very personal level."
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.