Photos show Border Patrol saving migrant boy from drowning

A Border Patrol agent saved a Honduran child who was trying to cross the Rio Grande to enter the United States.
Image:
Border Patrol Agent Brady Waikel rescues a 7-year-old boy from Honduras after he fell out of a makeshift raft crossing the Rio Grande River near Eagle Pass, Texas, on May 10.Bob Owen / The San Antonio Express-News via AP

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By Daniella Silva

Photos show a Border Patrol agent saving a Honduran child who almost drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande to enter the United States.

Four adults and five children were trying to get across the river near Eagle Pass, Texas, on Friday in inflatable children's swimming pools, The San Antonio Express-News reported.

But the rafts capsized, sending the migrants into the fast-moving river as they tried to cling to the floats, the newspaper reported.

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Border Patrol Agent Bryan Kemmett, left, passes a 7-year-old boy from Honduras to another agent after he was rescued from the swollen Rio Grande River on May 10. Bob Owen / The San Antonio Express-News via AP

A 7-year-old boy who had fallen from the raft screamed and his head went under water. Border Patrol agents threw ropes with rescue devices and shouted at the migrants to grab the bags.

As the current pulled the boy farther away from his float, Border Patrol agent Brady Waikel jumped into the water to reach the boy and rescue him from the currents, photos of the incident show.

All nine migrants survived, according to the Express-News, and they were taken into immigration custody.

“I didn’t even think about it,” Waikel, a nearly 19-year veteran of the Border Patrol, told the newspaper.

“The mom had the kid over here, and she lost him, and he was drifting off. I didn’t want to wait," he said.

A mother from Honduras goes to her two children on the banks of the Rio Grande River on May 10. Bob Owen / The San Antonio Express-News via AP

Earlier this month, a 10-month-old was found dead and three others were missing and presumed dead after a raft carrying nine migrants flipped on the Rio Grande near Del Rio, Texas. The missing were described as two boys, ages 6 and 7, and a man.

In the last fiscal year, Customs and Border Protection rescue teams responded to more than 4,300 emergencies, involving 283 deaths, including those who drowned or died in the desert. The high was in 2005, when 492 people died.

The Associated Press contributed.