U.S. agents save man who rappelled off border bridge and almost drowned

U.S. Border Patrol agents in Texas rescued a Mexican man who almost drowned on the American side of the border with Mexico on Wednesday night.

The man had walked across the Paso Del Norte Bridge, which connects El Paso in Texas, with Juárez in Mexico, and then grabbed a rope and rappelled off the bridge once he was on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Seeing this unfold on a border security video feed, Border Patrol agents went after the man, who then jumped into an irrigation canal to escape them, CBP said. But he had trouble keeping his head above water.

The agents tossed him a rescue rope and pulled him to safety. Border Patrol EMTs treated the 31-year-old man at the scene.

The agents then took him to a Border Patrol station for immigration proceedings, CBP said.

Authorities are urging people on both sides of the border to avoid the canals, which are dangerous.

"The currents there are very strong and pose a threat even to the most experienced swimmers," CBP said in a news release. "The canals are self-cleaning and designed to pull down anything that goes into those waters."