U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the marine unit of the Eagle Pass South Station saved the life of an illegal teenager after he and his family, all from Honduras, tried to cross the Rio Grande river on Tuesday afternoon, June 25.

“Words cannot express my gratitude nor convey the sense of pride I have for these agents,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz. “Without a doubt, their quick lifesaving actions brought this young man back from the brink of death,” according to CBP’s statement.

On June 25, agents of the Border Patrol performing maritime operations on the Rio Grande river observed two individuals struggling to stay afloat near the entry port of Eagle Pass.

As agents moved to assist, they saw a third person downstream a short distance, submerged under the surface, and unmoving. Agents moved closer, pulling the lifeless teen aboard their vessel.

The 13-year-old boy was unconscious and not breathing, and had been underwater for more than a full minute. The ship’s captain performed CPR rapidly, aided by the crewman.

The teen eventually coughed up water through the efforts of the agents, started breathing on his own and regained consciousness. 

The other two people also plucked from the river, were later identified as the parents of the rescued teen, and all brought to the U.S. shore safely.

Border Patrol EMT agents were on the scene and tended to the family until EMS staff arrived. They transported the teenage male to a local hospital for advanced care, accompanied by his mother. The family was taken to the Eagle Pass South Station, where they were processed according to CBP guidelines, after being medically cleared.