MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — Border Patrol agents near McAllen have rescued 11 people, including seven children, who were crossing the Rio Grande in a raft tethered to a vehicle on the Mexican side when smugglers yanked on the rope and dumped the people into the river.
The people trying to enter the U.S. illegally were struggling to stay afloat when they were spotted by agents late Monday night. Authorities tossed floatation devices to some and others were rescued by a Border Patrol boat. Some smugglers on the raft wore life jackets and swam back to Mexico.
No one rescued was hurt. Five were under the age of 9, including a year-old infant. Officials say all were from Honduras and Nicaragua.
Agents say the tethered raft is a smugglers' tactic to make its retrieval easier.