(KABB/WOAI/CNN/Meredith) -- Disturbing video shows a desperate situation at the US-Mexico border: migrants drowning as they attempt to cross the Rio Grande river.

Jesus Vargas, a witness, said he saw at least two teenagers and one woman drowning. He was equipped with nothing more than a fishing rod, which he threw in the water to save a boy who Vargas said was about 13 years old.

Vargas said he believes three people drowned, although according to a Facebook post from US Border Patrol Laredo Sector, the number is two.

That Facebook post also says the incident started when Border Patrol agents foiled a human smuggling attempt. Some migrants were detained and others “entered the river and safely made it to the Mexican riverbanks.”

Vargas managed to capture part of the incident on video. He said he has lived near the Rio Grande his whole life, but he has never seen anything like this.

Since posting the videos on social media, Vargas has received calls from all over central America from families asking about what the people who drowned looked like in attempts to identify them.

Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar said this incident sheds light on the need for immigration reform.

“We need to have the proper protocols on where they [migrants] can come in and apply and do all that, instead of coming in through the river doing it the way they are,” Cuellar said.

Copyright 2021 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

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