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Marine Interdiction Agents Save Distressed Swimmer Trying to Cross the South Padre Island Jetties

Release Date: 
June 9, 2015

Swift Action by Marine Interdiction Agents Saves a Man’s Life

South Padre Island, TX- Marine Interdiction Agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air and Marine saved a man who was seconds away from drowning.

On June 7 at 8:00 p.m., while on patrol and proceeding outbound in the Brazos Santiago Pass/South Padre Island Jetties, Marine Interdiction Agents stationed at the Brownsville Marine Unit onboard  a 33’ SAFE boat, noticed a person in the water, roughly 100 yards from the north jetty struggling to swim. Due to heavy sea currents, the man was almost fully submerged and was visibly struggling to stay afloat. The crew of the CBP OAM 33’ SAFE Boat was able to position the vessel and successfully recover the struggling man from the water. The man was visibly exhausted and claimed that he and his brother had been swimming off Isla Blanca Park when the current swept him out to sea. The man claimed that he had been in the water for approximately 40 minutes and was near the brink of exhaustion.

Marine Interdiction Agents then contacted their partners at the U.S. Coast Guard Station on South Padre Island and indicated that there could possibly be another subject in the water. The USCG Station launched a vessel and requested an air asset for a search and rescue mission. An EMT-certified Marine Interdiction Agent provided medical attention to the man aboard the CBP SAFE Boat as he claimed he was experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain, and dizziness. The crew of the CBP SAFE Boat proceeded to transport the subject to the USCG Station on South Padre Island where a South Padre Island EMS was standing by to provide medical treatment and transportation to the hospital. Marine Interdiction Agents are still conducting an investigation as to the man’s identity and his reasons for trying to swim in such a dangerous area.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017