Border Patrol rescued 13 illegal immigrants, including children, from a sinking raft in the Rio Grande Thursday morning, according to Customs and Border Protection.
The illegal immigrants were stranded on an inflatable raft that began deflating, which had six children on board ranging from ages nine to 13 near Penitas, Texas, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
“Just after midnight, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Riverine Unit were patrolling the Rio Grande when they witnessed a raft deflating with numerous people aboard,” according to CBP. “The inflatable raft was in the middle of the river as it began taking on water. The riverine agents acted swiftly and were able to get the group safely aboard their vessel.”
RGV Riverine Unit rescue 13 from a sinking raft. This morning agents encountered a group of Central American families left stranded by smugglers in the middle of the Rio Grande. Their deflating raft took on water and was moments from sinking. 6 of those rescued were kids ages 1-9 pic.twitter.com/GxyhoknslL
— Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings (@USBPChiefRGV) March 4, 2021
The illegal immigrants received medical screenings and were found to be uninjured, according to CBP.
“Human smugglers continue placing lives in grave danger by sending groups adrift on rafts with no oars, life preservers, or any means to maneuver,” according to CBP. “Additionally, rafts are over capacity as smugglers attempt to maximize their profits on each trip across the Rio Grande.”
Human smugglers have continued to send illegal immigrants across the border despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to CBP.