At least eight people were found dead in the Rio Grande while attempting a hazardous crossing in Texas, officials said on Friday.
The discovery was made by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Mexican officials on Thursday while responding to a large number of people attempting to migrate across the river near the city of Eagle Pass.
US officials recovered six bodies, while Mexican teams recovered two others, according to a CBP statement.
The agency said US crews rescued 37 people from the river and detained 16 others, while Mexican officials took 39 people into custody. Officials on both sides of the border continue searching for any possible victims, the CBP said.
Days of heavy rain in the Big Bend region had resulted in swift currents in the Rio Grande.
The border patrol’s Del Rio sector, which includes Eagle Pass, has been especially dangerous because river currents can be deceptively fast and change quickly. The area draws people from dozens of countries, many of them families with young children. Crossing the river can be challenging even for strong swimmers.
In a news release last month, CBP said it had discovered more than 200 bodies in the Del Rio sector from October through July. The Del Rio sector extends 245 miles (395 km) along the Rio Grande.
Surveys by the UN International Organization for Migration and others point to rising fatalities as the number of crossing attempts have soared. In the last three decades, thousands have died attempting to enter the United States from Mexico, often from dehydration or drowning.