A 38-year-old Nicaraguan migrant reportedly drowned while attempting to illegally cross the Rio Grande River along the Texas border on Sunday despite the National Guard being present.
Fox News correspondent Bryan Llenas posted video of the drowning on social media on Monday. Migrants on the river bank were shouting at two men in the water: the drowning man, and another man holding onto a bridge pillar.
“This was horrific to see,” said Llenas during Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” report. “There are the migrants who are suffering the most, who are risking their lives leaving horrific conditions and coming here under false pretenses about this nation’s immigration policy.”
Guardsmen told Llenas that they were ordered not to do water rescues after the drowning of Specialist Bishop Evans last month. The migrant drowned in the same area where Evans died.
According to a report from the Texas Tribune last week, Evans and other members of Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s border securing mission, Operation Lone Star, lacked the safety equipment to conduct water rescues. The Texas Military Department issued an order for the necessary buoys and ropes, but the equipment hadn’t arrived.
The friend of the drowned Nicaraguan man, a 42 year old who identified himself as Elbe Castro, managed to float down the river onto a small bridge ledge in the water. Castro told Llenas that he and his friend, Nelson, left Nicaragua last December.
Border Patrol notified Mexican authorities to rescue Castro after the National Guard reached out.
Fellow Fox News reporter Bill Melugin noted that this latest drowning follows “multiple drownings” that occurred last week.
There were multiple drownings when we were there last week, including TX National Guard soldier, SPC Bishop Evans.
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) May 1, 2022
Last month, Reuters reported that Nicaraguans were taking swim lessons to prepare for crossing the Rio Grande. The report focused on twelve Nicaraguans who confirmed they intended to enter the U.S. illegally. The group took free swim lessons from a swim coach named Mario Orozco in Esteli, Nicaragua.
Orozco began to offer the lessons without cost because one of his friends drowned attempting to cross into Texas.