Edinburg, Texas - U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector saved the lives of 13 illegal aliens over the weekend and early this morning.
The first incident occurred Friday when agents assigned to the Falfurrias Station rescued eight illegal aliens, who had fallen victim to harsh conditions in the brush near San Manuel, Texas. The agents received assistance from a Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine (OAM) helicopter that spotted the group and guided agents on the ground to the location.
Another two illegal aliens were rescued Saturday near Encino, Texas, after the Starr County Sherriff's Office received a 911 call from two people who said they were lost and needed help. The information was relayed to agents assigned to the Falfurrias Station, who, with the assistance of an OAM helicopter, were able to locate the two men using GPS coordinates obtained from the phone call. The men appeared to be in good health and declined medical attention.
Falfurrias agents also rescued an illegal alien Sunday after she made a phone call to Brooks County 911 stating she was lost. The agents found the woman in good physical condition and she did not request medical attention.
The most recent rescue was made this morning when personnel onboard an OAM helicopter spotted two people struggling to swim across the Rio Grande. Agents assigned to the McAllen Station, who were patrolling the river by boat, responded to the area and were able to pull a man from the water. They also spotted a woman clinging to a tree and rescued her as well.
"When attempting to illegally enter the United States, people often underestimate the dangers posed by the Rio Grande and the harsh South Texas terrain," Chief Patrol Agent Rosendo Hinojosa said. "Fortunately for these 13 individuals, our agents were able to prevent these incidents from ending tragically."
To report suspicious activity, call the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector's toll-free telephone number at (800) 863-9382.
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.