Coast Guard rescues woman, 6 children on Rio Grande near McAllen

Members of Coast Guard Maritime Safety & Security Team Houston pose for a photo with a raft deflated after a search and rescue case near McAllen, Texas, June 9, 2023. The crew rescued one woman and six children from the raft after it started sinking in the middle of the Rio Grande. (U.S. Coast Guard photo, courtesy Maritime Safety & Security Team Houston)

Members of Coast Guard Maritime Safety & Security Team Houston pose for a photo with a raft deflated after a search and rescue case near McAllen, Texas, June 9, 2023.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo, courtesy Maritime Safety & Security Team Houston)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard rescued seven non-citizens on the Rio Grande near McAllen, Texas, Friday.

A 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew from Coast Guard Maritime Safety & Security Team Houston was patrolling the Rio Grande at approximately 7 a.m. when they received a report from U.S. Border Patrol of non-citizens attempting to cross the river nearby.

The crew encountered a raft with one suspected smuggler and seven non-citizens aboard, including six children ranging in age from 5 to 16. When the Coast Guard crew approached, the suspected smuggler jumped overboard, swam back to the Mexican riverbank, and the raft began to sink.

The Coast Guard crew rescued the woman and six children from the sinking raft, brought the survivors safely ashore, and transferred them to U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel for further processing.

“Search and rescue is one of our primary missions on the Rio Grande,” said Cmdr. Osvaldo Vera, commanding officer of MSST Houston. “Our crews are highly trained to overcome a myriad of challenges and help those in need. The impeccable skills and bias for action of our boat crews, as well as our close coordination with partner agencies, drive our lifesaving mission at the border.”

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