SAN YSIDRO, Calif. (KGTV) — Several migrants were saved from a flooded San Ysidro storm drain in two separate rescues.
The first rescue took place just before 11 p.m. Thursday. Border Patrol agents say they found three people trying to illegally enter the U.S. near a drainage tube about two miles west of the San Ysidro Port of Entry. The three people told agents that others were still inside the drain as heavy rainfall began to flood the tube.
With the help of San Diego Fire-Rescue, one woman was quickly pulled to safety from the drainage tube before crews saved 13 more people through a manhole leading into the drain.
Seven of those 17 people were taken to a nearby hospital.
Then at about 1:15 a.m. Friday, border agents reported more migrants were possibly trapped in the same drain. SDFD crews and lifeguards returned and pulled one woman from the drain. Border Patrol agents also found two people near the exit of the tube.
The woman was taken to a nearby hospital.
Of the 20 people rescued, 15 men, three women, and one unaccompanied juvenile are from Mexico and one man is from Guatemala. All were being processed Friday for illegally entering the country.
Just before 3 a.m., Border Patrol agents say they located an unknown, deceased person in the water line on a beach near the west end of the Tijuana River mouth. It wasn't known, though, if the person was related to the earlier smuggling attempts, according to Customs and Border Protection.
“The lifesaving efforts of these agents, who bravely risk their own lives to save others, makes me proud.” said Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison. “Inclement weather conditions and perilous drainage pipe water flows, significantly increase the odds of a grim outcome.”