Border Patrol agents, citizens rescue toddler, father from Arizona canal

YUMA, Ariz. — Border Patrol agents and citizens saved the life of a 2-year-old boy and his father, who were struggling in a canal near the U.S.-Mexico border on Monday night, authorities said.

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According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release, a 23-year-old man entered the canal, located in Arizona near the border, with his son strapped to his back and was swept away by the rapid current.

Members of the National Guard assigned to the Yuma Sector Border Patrol Operations Center observed the incident on video surveillance and alerted agents, according to the news release. An agent piloting a helicopter saw the pair in the canal, landed and threw rescue lines to the man, who was unable to catch them because of the current, the release said.

A Yuma station agent removed his uniform and jumped into the water and rescued the child with help from citizens and other agents, according to the release. They were able to move the agent and child to safety on the side of the canal, where they were removed from the water.

The group also pulled the father from the water, according to the release. The child was treated for hypothermia, the news release said. The child and his father were taken to an area hospital and then later released to Yuma Border Patrol agents for processing.

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