“A necessary release of water by the International Boundary and Water Commission at Amistad Dam resulted in a much higher and even more dangerous river in recent weeks,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Felix Chavez. “Thanks to the partnerships we maintain with our Mexican counterparts and the fast action of our agents, an innocent life was saved yesterday and a potential tragedy avoided.”
On May 3, members of Grupo Beta, a Mexican-based relief unit in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, placed a call for help to the Border Patrol’s Foreign Operations Branch in Del Rio. The caller indicated that a Mexican citizen, who was either fishing or swimming, became trapped in the high water and could not safely return to the Mexican shoreline. The water was running at least five times its normal levels due to the release of water from the Amistad Dam. Del Rio Sector Marine agents who were in the area at the time, immediately responded and located the distressed man. He was holding on to the Carrizo Cane vegetation to keep himself from being swept down river by the strong river current. Agents utilized a “throw-line” to retrieve the man from the high water and safely pull him onto the vessel. The man was immediately and safely turned over to the relief workers.