Imperial Beach, California - U.S. Border Patrol agents in San Diego rescued a man on Wednesday who was drowning in the Pacific Ocean.
On September 1, at approximately 1:30 p.m., agents conducting line-watch operations saw a man who appeared to be in distress while swimming near the U.S./Mexico border.
The man was caught in a rip-current and was being swept away from the Mexican shoreline into U.S. waters. A Border Patrol agent patrolling the Border Field State Park beach requested assistance from local lifeguards and emergency medical services (EMS). While waiting for a response from local lifeguards, the distressed swimmer became fatigued and was struggling to keep his head above water. Concerned that the man would drown before lifeguards arrived, USBP agents made the split-second decision to swim into the dangerous currents to rescue the man.
The USBP agents were able to reach the man before he went under, pulled him out of the rip-current, and brought him safely to shore. The man, who was an adult Mexican citizen, was treated by EMS and lifeguards who arrived shortly after. Once cleared by EMS, the man was subsequently returned to Mexico.
“Our agents never cease to amaze me,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke. “Today and every day, our agents go to great lengths to help those in need, often at great risk to their own safety. Their selfless actions saved this man’s life.”
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.