An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

  1. Home
  2. Newsroom
  3. Local Media Release
  4. U.S. Border Patrol Agents in Wellesley Island Execute a Water Rescue

U.S. Border Patrol Agents in Wellesley Island Execute a Water Rescue

Release Date
Tue, 08/25/2020

WELLESLEY ISLAND, N.Y. – U.S. Border Patrol agents from Buffalo Sector rescue a diver from the swift waters of the St. Lawrence River.

On August 23, Border Patrol Agents from the Wellesley Island Border Patrol Station were conducting riverine patrol operations and observed a pleasure diver in distress floating down the main channel in the St. Lawrence River, near Alexandria Bay, New York.

.Wellesley Island, N.Y. Border Patrol Station
Wellesley Island, N.Y. Border Patrol Station

Upon approach, the diver was waving his hands and stated that he had been separated from his dive-group. Once the agents came alongside the diver it was apparent that he was physically exhausted and disoriented. Agents also observed that the diver had in his possession multiple air tanks as well as a propulsion device. In addition to the divers physical weight, the added-equipment weighed approximately 250 lbs., making recovery very difficult. Agents successfully recovered the diver and his equipment by constructing an improvised rope-ladder with multiple ropes tied together and then fastened them to their vessel.

 Maritime vessel used by U.S. Border Patrol.
Maritime vessel used by U.S. Border Patrol

An initial evaluation of the diver by a Border Patrol Emergency Medical Technician revealed no injuries. The diver was then transported to Bonnie Castle Marina after declining further medical attention. 

“Our agents can go from arresting narcotic smugglers or preventing the illegal entry of persons into the United States one day to performing lifesaving rescues the next day” said Deputy Patrol Agent in Charge Juan Di Bella. “Our agents truly live the Honor First motto.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-800-331-0353 toll free.

Follow us on Twitter @CBPBuffalo @USBPChiefBUN @USBPDepChiefBUN

Last Modified: Feb 03, 2021