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Watercraft user rescued in Niagara River after attempt to enter illegally

Border patrol agents and the Coast Guard Wednesday rescued a person on a personal watercraft in the Niagara River near Grand Island, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Buffalo field office.

The Grand Island Fire Company issued a news release stating it had requested assistance from Border Patrol to rescue a person stranded on the ice just off the shoreline in Beaver Island State Park.

According to Border Patrol agents, three people attempted to enter the United States illegally on a personal watercraft. Two were able to make it to shore, but a third person became stranded on the ice.

Grand Island Fire Capt. Kevin Koch said his firefighters used a special craft to reach the stranded individual and safely bring her to shore.

The stranded individual and her two companions were evaluated by paramedics at the scene and turned over to Border Patrol and New York State Park Police, according to Grand Island Fire.

Mike Niezgoda, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Buffalo field office, said an investigation revealed that the operator of the watercraft is a citizen of Brazil who resides in Canada.

The two other individuals allegedly being smuggled into the United States are citizens of Spain and Brazil, Niezgoda said.


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