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U.S. Border Patrol Rescues Five from American Canal

Release Date: 
September 1, 2020

EL PASO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol Agents from the El Paso station were involved in two emergency rescue operations this past weekend near Modesto Gomez Park in central El Paso.

On August 28th at approximately 11:30 p.m., El Paso Border Patrol Agents were conducting routine surveillance duties when they observed two subjects clinging on to a steel ladder rung and in danger of being swept away in the American Canal.

El Paso agents working in collaboration with the El Paso Fire Department’s water rescue team deployed a water safety line and successfully rescued two individuals from the canal. A third member of the group escaped the dangerous canal currents on his own and was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents.  

Among those rescued were two Guatemalan nationals, a 21-year-old woman and 36-year-old man and a 40-year-old Mexican male who was transported to a local hospital and subsequently released to U.S. Border Patrol custody.

In a separate incident, just before 2 a.m. on August 29th, El Paso agents located two Mexican men, ages 18 and 21, struggling to hold on to a rescue ladder on the canal levee. Agents rescued the two subjects thereby preventing them from being swept away by the dangerous currents.

The five subjects in the two incidents were subsequently expelled under Title 42 provisions.

“The quick response, coordination and collaboration between El Paso agents and the El Paso Fire Department’s water rescue team helped save these individual’s lives,” stated El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “The video clearly shows the limited visibility under which these late night and early morning rescues were conducted, along with the danger posed by the force of the waterway’s currents.”

This latest incident serves as a grim reminder of the many dangers faced by those attempting to illegally cross the U.S./Mexico border 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.  

U.S. Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens are encouraged to report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol while remaining anonymous by calling 1-800-635-2509.

Please visit to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to Customs and Border Protection. Follow us on Twitter at @USBPChiefEPT and @CBPWestTexas.



Last modified: 
February 3, 2021