Del RIo, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to Del Rio Sector rescued eight migrants from the Rio Grande River in three separate incidents.
An increase in water release from Amistad Dam has created a high flow to the Rio Grande River and is expected to approach and remain near flood stage for the next 25 days. Water is regularly transferred downstream to meet irrigation and municipal water demand in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, which creates dangerous conditions for anyone attempting to cross the Rio Grande River and to agents operating on or near the river.
“The dangers of crossing the Rio Grande River cannot be overstated, and has only intensified recently as the current and water levels have gone up,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz. “I am especially thankful, and extremely proud of our agents, who have remained ardently committed to both the preservation of human life and the integrity of our nation’s borders.”
On April 25, at approximately 6 p.m., Border Patrol agents from the Brackettville Station encountered a pregnant woman stranded on an island in the middle of the Rio Grande River. Agents contacted Del Rio Sector’s Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team for assistance, who are trained in swift water rescue. BORSTAR agents arrived and were able to rescued the woman and safely bring her to shore. She was transported to Val Verde Regional Medical Center for evaluation and treatment, due to her late-term pregnancy.
At about 6:25 p.m., agents from the Eagle Pass Station spotted a group of three individuals that had become similarly stranded in the middle of the river. Agents contacted marine agents, who arrived and safely brought them to the U.S. shore aboard their patrol boat.
The third rescue occurred at around 6:30 p.m. when agents from the Eagle Pass Station spotted another small group of people attempting to cross the river. The swift current proved too much for them however, and they were forced to take refuge on a small island. Marine agents responded in their patrol boat and safely transported the group to shore.
All of the migrants in the three groups were from Honduras including children ranging in age from 2 to 15 years. They were processed per U.S. Customs and Border Protection guidelines.