It was just before dawn on June 2 when U.S. Coast Guard Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Jarrett Guerra alerted his small boat crew to a baby that had been swept away by the Rio Grande.
“The Coasties made the trip south to the Rio Grande to beef up patrols usually conducted by federal agents and officers assigned to US Customs and Border Protection. When the number of Central American migrants journeying up the spine of Mexico to the international boundary rises, the Coast Guard crews can mean the difference between life and death for drowning families.”Military.com
The current was running strong and the child was facedown in the water. Without hesitation, Guerra and his team sprang into action, risking their own lives to save the child.
“I’m going in!” Maritime Enforcement Specialist 2nd Class Jake Flores yelled before quickly stripping off his 50-pounds of gear and leaping into the water.
Flores managed to reach the baby but struggled to keep above the deep, rapid water. He recalls how deadly the water was, but refused to let the baby die.
Meanwhile, Guerra helped a few other people clinging to the side of the boat to safety. By the time Flores got the baby back to the crew, he appeared lifeless. But of course, the crew didn’t give up.
Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Corey Connolly rendered aid to the baby, using two fingers to give lifesaving compressions. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the baby took a breath and the crew knew they had won.
Now that the baby was conscious, the men quickly worked to get him warm and stable. The baby and the two other women rescued were transferred to a nearby hospital under the supervision of Border Patrol.
Sadly, this kind of incident is all too common with illegal immigrants making desperate attempts to cross the dangerous river. Fortunately for this baby and the women traveling with him, there were heroes there to rescue them.
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