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U.S. Border Patrol Rescues Drowning Man Who Rappelled Off Downtown Bridge

Release Date: 
August 31, 2018

EL PASO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents rescued a man last night who rappelled off the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry, then jumped into the American Canal in downtown El Paso.

Just after 10 p.m. on Wednesday, border surveillance cameras spotted a man rappelling off the Paso Del Norte Bridge downtown. The man had walked across the bridge as if to go through inspection before revealing his true motive. The immigration violator grabbed a rope and rappelled off the bridge once he was on the U.S. side of the river. U.S. Border Patrol Agents quickly responded to the illegal entry and witnessed the man jump into the canal once he saw agents arriving. Agents discovered he was in distress and having trouble keeping his head above water. The agents immediately began using their land-based water rescue techniques to pull the man out of the water by deploying a rescue rope.

The subject, a 31-year-old Mexican national, received medical attention at the scene from Border Patrol Emergency Medical Technicians, who took him out of harm’s way. He was then transported to a USBP station and is pending immigration proceedings.

El Paso Sector Border Patrol wants to remind the local community on both sides of the border not to risk their lives in dangerous irrigation canals. The currents there are very strong and pose a threat even to the most experienced swimmers. The canals are self-cleaning and designed to pull down anything that goes into those waters.

Last modified: 
August 31, 2018