SAN DIEGO -- Authorities rescued five Mexican nationals trying to enter the United States illegally through a flooded drainage system Monday afternoon, according to U.S. Border Patrol.
The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department received a call around 1:05 p.m. for a rescue at 3032 Dairy Mart Road in San Ysidro, close to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Agents in #ImperialBeach, working with SD Fire Rescue, just rescued 5 Mexican nationals from a flooded border drainage system while they were trying to enter the U.S. illegally. Very dangerous!
All 5 were taken to the hospital for evaluation.
--Video of the area today--#CBP pic.twitter.com/xBMWaLf7iL
— Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke (@USBPChiefSDC) December 23, 2019
Border Patrol agents spotted three males and two females getting into a drainage tunnel in Mexico. The group ended up about a quarter-mile into the U.S., and agents were ready as they came out the other side.
Agents say the group was found in the tunnel with their heads barely above water.
“It’s extremely dangerous for anyone who enters these tunnels. We're grateful we’re here to make these rescues," said Agent Jarrett Decker.
Border Patrol agents say smugglers and human traffickers will try to use the tunnels during a storm because grates are lifted to let debris flow through and that means people can try to make it through as well.
Those rescued were taken to a hospital to get checked out and then will be placed in Border Patrol custody.