EL PASO, TX (Border Report) — Five people have drowned in border canals, prompting the U.S. Border Patrol to issue a warning about the dangers of jumping into these waterways that run parallel to the Rio Grande in El Paso.

The Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector issued an advisory on Saturday, asking for the news media to help bring attention to these dangers and keep the public informed of mounting rescues and body recoveries in the canals.

“The canals are deeper than they appear and often have a significant water current and undertow this time of year as water is released from reservoirs upstream for irrigation purposes,” said the statement.

Another five people have been rescued since water from the Rio Grande was released last Sunday.

Border agents on Saturday morning alerted the El Paso Fire Department about a body in the canal near the Border Highway and U.S. 54 in Central El Paso. Crews had also pulled a body from a canal miles downstream late Friday near Clint, Texas.

El Paso Fire Department personnel recover a body from the border canal in Clint, TX. Two bodies were recovered on Saturday morning. Courtesy: EPFD

The Border Patrol is urging the public to tell people on both sides of the border to avoid entering the canals for any reason.

“The risk is not worth the loss of human life.”

The canals are deeper than they appear and often have a significant water current and undertow this time of year as water is released from reservoirs upstream for irrigation purposes. Courtesy: EPFD

To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, call 1 (800) 635-2509. Callers can remain anonymous.