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Agents save migrant from drowning in irrigation canal

U.S. Border Patrol agents rescued an illegal immigrant who was drowning in an irrigation canal and apprehended three others Tuesday near Casa Grande.

Agents from the Casa Grande Station responded to a call about four people hiding south of state Route 84 along an irrigation canal, Tucson sector spokesman Mike Scioli said Friday.

When agents arrived, they observed two people along the bank and two others attempting to swim across the canal. One in the water made it across and fled while the other appeared to be drowning, Scioli said.

Agents lowered themselves into the irrigation canal and used a rope to pull the man to safety, he said. The man was examined and was determined to be in good condition.

The suspect who fled was apprehended and the group was transported to the Casa Grande Station for processing. All four of the men are from Guanajuato, Mexico, and were in the country illegally, Scioli said.

Border Patrol agents in the agency’s Tucson sector have made 28 rescues this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1. In fiscal 2008, 459 people in distress were rescued, U.S. Border Patrol figures show.

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