SAN DIEGO (CBSLA.com) — A drowning pregnant woman and suspected undocumented immigrant was rescued this week from a Southern California canal, authorities said.
U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro Station responded to the incident at approximately 2:20 p.m. Tuesday after a concerned citizen waved down a nearby Border Patrol agent and informed him that a woman was in the canal and needed help, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
Two agents located the pregnant woman inside the All-American Canal near the intersection of Anza Road and Weed Road west of downtown Calexico, successfully deployed a rescue throw-bag for her to hold onto and pulled her to safety, authorities said.
The woman was complaining of numbness in her lower extremities, which could have been early signs of hypothermia, according to officials.
Emergency medical services were immediately dispatched to the area and she was later transported to the El Centro Regional Hospital for further evaluation and care, officials said.
Upon her release from the hospital, authorities say the woman was transported to the El Centro Sector station for further processing for alleged illegal entry into the United States.
Flowing the length of 85 miles just north of California’s border with Mexico, the All-American Canal is considered the main water conduit from the Colorado River into the Imperial Valley.
A 2010 report from CBS News estimated at least 550 people have drowned while attempting to cross the 225-foot-wide canal, usually on makeshift rafts or using plastic jugs for flotation.