EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Officials talk about the water flowing through the Rio Grande canal and how rescues are done when someone jumps in.
Officials say the water is deceiving and looks slow moving.
“”…but they’re designed to move water… Once you get in, the other problem you have is that the canal banks are very slick.” Kris Menendez, El Paso Fire Department, said.
Statistics from the El Paso Fire Department show that there was a total of 40 drownings in the last two years.
Sean Coffey, Border Patrol agent, says when officials rescue people it’s a difficult operation.
“Because of the flow, we can’t pull someone directly out. We have to let them flow until they start guiding towards the wall and then we can start pulling them out a lot easier with their help also.” Coffey, said.
Rescue teams will deploy a rope into the water so the person in the water can catch it. Crews have to be careful in these incidents because the water current is their biggest obstacle.
“So it adds to the weight of the person or to the difficulty of pulling them out…” Coffey, said.