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U.S. Border Patrol Agent jumps into canal to save one, second person is lost

Release Date: 
July 31, 2018

CLINT, TX–U.S. Border Patrol Agents from El Paso rescued two people from the city’s irrigation canal who were trying to cross the border illegally.

On July 29, border surveillance cameras spotted a group of suspected illegal aliens attempting to cross into the United States illegally near Clint. Two people then jumped into deep, fast-moving currents of the irrigation canal. A Border Patrol Agent raced to the scene to find the two people struggling to stay afloat in the canal, just north of the pedestrian fence.  The agent went into the water and was able to save one person, but the second subject went underwater and was not seen again. 

Agents took three subjects from the group into custody. They told agents the missing person was from El Salvador, and did not know how to swim.  Agents say the turbulent waters can make survival nearly impossible since currents can travel at a speed of up to 40-miles per-hour, and can be up to 15-feet deep.

Members of the Clint and San Elizario Fire and Rescues Units, along with other area law-enforcement personnel, continued the search for the lost subject.  The victim was eventually found in the water and declared deceased. The body of the unidentified person was extracted by El Paso County authorities Monday afternoon. 

This latest incident serves as a grim reminder of the many dangers faced by those who attempt to illegally cross the U.S./Mexico border in deserts and through area waterways. It also reflects the type of courage carried out by the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol on a daily basis as they continue to protect the lives of those they encounter along the southwest border.

Last modified: 
July 31, 2018