GORDON WELL, Calif. (Border Report) — El Centro Sector Chief Patrol Agent Greg Bovino jumped into the All American Canal to show how dangerous the currents can be. And even though he’s a good swimmer and wore a life jacket, it was not easy for him to get across the waterway.
This was part of a swift water demonstration highlighting the dangers of crossing canals.
The All American Canal runs for more than 40 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border near the California-Arizona state line.
“I felt like I was being pulled, I wasn’t going in the direction I wanted to go,” said Bovino. “When I got into the middle of the canal, that’s when the main current hit me, that’s probably the 18-mile an hour current they were talking about, it was scary.”
Bovino says migrants who get over the border barrier often get in the water and into trouble, and many do it under the cover of darkness.
“I can’t imagine doing this at night, especially not knowing the distance across the canal and especially if you’re not a good swimmer,” he said.
In recent months, at least seven migrants have died attempting to cross the canal.
“We’ve had an increase in traffic, an increase in folks crossing the border that translates into an increase of people entering this canal and they get into situations, they have no idea,” Bovino said.
He and others went into the canal to demonstrate how dangerous it can be in the water.
Bovino said he hopes the message gets out and people stay out of the canal and other waterways.
“The currents, they proved difficult.”