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Man arrested for swimming across Niagara River to enter U.S.

Thursday, May 23rd 2019, 3:29 pm - U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents say the man is lucky to be alive.

A citizen of Spain has been arrested, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents say, after swimming across the Niagara River to illegally enter the United States.

"This individual placed himself in extreme danger by swimming across the Niagara River ... and is lucky to have survived the ordeal," said patrol agent in charge Josh Barrett.

"The river is immensely hazardous with rapids, strong currents and low water temperatures."

Agents from the CBP Niagara Falls Station received reports of an adult man swimming across the river, just south of the Whirlpool Bridge Tuesday.

They found a life vest and swim fins near the shoreline, but the man was nowhere to be seen, according to the agency.

A vehicle believed to have been involved in the unlawful crossing was identified and found outside an area mall by officers with the Niagara County Sheriff's office around 3:20 a.m.

Border agents arrested the suspected swimmer and two other people who are believed to have helped him.

Two of the people, including the alleged swimmer, are from Spain. The third is an American citizen.

This article was written for the CBC.

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