Suspected border crosser arrested after rescue from Tijuana River

SAN DIEGO -- A man was arrested by Border Patrol agents after he had to be rescued from the Tijuana River by firefighters Sunday morning.

Agents called firefighters about 8:30 a.m. to ask for assistance with a man who was stuck on a small island in the middle of the river near Dairy Mart Road and was calling for help, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Chief Rick Ballard said.

It wasn't clear how the man got onto the island but agents said he was suspected of crossing the border illegally. Authorities said he wasn't hurt and was in no danger, but wouldn't go back in the water.

Crews set up a pulley system with a San Diego Fire-Rescue crane to get the man out of the river, a process that took about an hour, Ballard said.

The man, along with firefighters and equipment, had to be decontaminated after the rescue because of river pollution.

Border Patrol agents later took him into custody.

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