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Five rescued from drainage tube trying to cross the border

Posted at 4:56 PM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 19:56:39-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Five people were rescued from drainage tubes in Imperial Beach Monday afternoon after trying to cross into the U.S. illegally, according to Border Patrol.

The agency says the rescue happened around 1 p.m. in an area known as Canyon Del Sol near Dairy Mart and Clearwater roads.

Agents called San Diego Fire to conduct the rescue in rising water. According to a Border Patrol spokesperson, the water level was so high that only the heads of the individuals were visible above the water line.

RELATED: Border Patrol rescues man abandoned by smugglers near US-Mexico border

Five Mexican nationals, three women and two men, were rescued from the water. All five were taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

According to Border Patrol, the drainage system is the same one used by smugglers on Thanksgiving night in an attempt to smuggle 17 people across the border.

RELATED: Border Patrol rescues 5 migrants stranded in Otay mountains

“Transnational criminal organizations consistently place profits over human life. Crossing the border illegally is inherently dangerous and even more so when attempting to pass through water drainage systems during a storm,” the agency said.