U.S. Border Patrol agents rescued a family of four who had become stranded in their raft while floating down the Colorado River, and in a separate incident arrested four drug smugglers over the weekend, seizing 217 pounds of marijuana.
According to agent Shaun Kuzia, a spokesman for the Yuma Sector, at about 1 a.m. Saturday, Border Patrol agents assigned to Yuma Station's boat unit heard shouting coming from the Colorado River near the Cocopah RV and Golf Resort.
Kuzia said the family, all U.S. citizens, had been floating in an inflatable swimming pool for nearly 12 hours and were unable to make it to shore.
Past the West Wetlands there is no place to get off the river. The sides are covered with reeds and brush, Kuzia said.
It was pitch black out there, so they wouldn't have seen a place to go ashore, even if there was one.
After launching their pool into the river near Avenue 4½E, Kuzia said, the group floated past the location where they intended to go ashore.
Fortunately for the family, Kuzia said, the Yuma Station's boat unit was going out for the night and heard their shouts for help. The agents responded and pulled the family to safety.
Kuzia said no one was injured or required medical assistance.
Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents also seized several bundles of marijuana and arrested four suspected smugglers near the Colorado River Friday morning.
Kuzia said at about 2 a.m., agents assigned to the Yuma Station detected the illegal entry of five people near County 11th Street and the Colorado River.
The agents tracked the group and arrested four men. One of the suspected smugglers, however, was able to flee back to Mexico.
That area has been a major smuggling route for humans and drugs for a long time, Kuzia said. Smugglers still try to hit us there.
Border Patrol agents also seized several makeshift backpacks full of marijuana.
The marijuana, Kuzia said, weighed a total of 217 pounds and has an estimated street value of $173,760.
Agents turned the suspected smugglers over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
The marijuana was taken to the Yuma Border Patrol Station, where it will be processed for destruction.
Since Oct. 1, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents have prevented more than 32,000 pounds of marijuana from making it into the county's communities.
July 07, 2010
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