Border patrol rescues family from drowning

by mcardinal

Lauren Moye, FISM News


U.S. Border Patrol agents reacted with unflinching bravery this past week when a migrant family illegally crossing the Rio Grande River lost their footing.

The Haitian family was spotted in the river on Feb. 12 near International Bridge No. 2. The Customs and Border Protection press release states, “As the individuals neared the U.S. riverbank, the ground they were standing on collapsed and they plunged into deep water. The family began to struggle to stay afloat as the swift current carried them downriver.”

The incident happened around 7:40 am. Later, social media statements released by the CBP described the family as being “underwater” in dangerously “strong currents.” 

Despite the high risk, agents quickly reacted to the endangered family. One agent braved the cold water to locate and then rescue the family. Another agent attempted to throw a rescue bag that was unsuccessful in reaching the family. However, thanks to the agent in the water who successfully located and assisted the 34-year-old woman and 5-year-old girl, personnel were able to pull two of the three family members to safety.

The unnamed hero entered the river once again at risk to his own life to find the 33-year-old man. By the time the agent located him, the father “had been submerged for several minutes.”

Thankfully CBP agents were able to provide life-saving first-aid on the riverbank. Emergency personnel soon arrived who transported the entire family to a nearby hospital. The Haitians were evaluated and given medical treatment before being released Saturday evening into border patrol custody.

“I’m never more proud, yet scared, as when these incidents occur,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens tweeted.

A video of agents administering life-saving first aid on the father and a blacked-out photo of the woman and child was shared on Facebook.

The heroism of the agents received accolades from the public, such as one Facebook user who wrote, “So thankful for what y’all do and appreciate you!!!!! I also think we the American citizens need to see these situations our government puts you in and expects you to deal with but gives you support!!! I pray daily that the Lord protects you!!!!”

Another Facebook user commented on the video, “Y’all must be exhausted. Please know your appreciated.”