United States Border Patrol agents from the Del Rio Sector’s Special Operations Detachment and Marine Units from the Eagle Pass Station rescued 17 Central American migrants from the Rio Grande River in three incidents on Thursday.
“As the number of migrants crossing the dangerous Rio Grande River has risen over the past several weeks, so too have our number of rescues,” said Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak. “No loss of life or injury took place during these operations thanks to the quick actions taken by our agents, of whom I’m extremely proud.”
At approximately 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 14, Border Patrol agents from the Eagle Pass Station reported hearing cries coming from the Rio Grande River. A Customs and Border Protection helicopter in the area responded and confirmed that a group of eight appeared to be stranded on a small island in the middle of the river. Agents assigned to the elite BORSTAR (Border Search, Trauma and Rescue) unit, part of Del Rio Sector’s Special Operations Detachment, were in the area and deployed to assist. BORSTAR agents successfully reached the group and brought them to the United States riverbank.
Later in the day, at approximately 12:15 p.m., another group of six migrants entered the river and attempted to cross to the United States side, only to become overwhelmed by high water levels and the swift current. Border Patrol marine units quickly responded, pulled the group on board their vessel and transported them to the U.S. shore.
The third water rescue of the day occurred at around 3:40 p.m., when agents from the Eagle Pass Station again spotted a group of people in the river, apparently in distress, near Bridge No.2. Marine units deployed and pulled the group of three to safety. An ambulance transported the group to Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center in Eagle Pass for further treatment and observation. All have since been released from the hospital.
Of the 17 migrants rescued during these attempts to cross the Rio Grande, 16 were from Honduras (including six children ranging in age from 1 to 17 years old) and one Guatemalan child, age 3. All were processed in accordance with CBP guidelines.
Since Feb. 4, Border Patrol agents in Del Rio Sector have rescued 35 people from the Rio Grande River.