By Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

HIDALGO, Texas (AP) - U.S. Border Patrol agents say migrant deaths are on the rise in South Texas in recent months when compared to figures from last year.

Border Patrol agents reported Wednesday the bodies of 55 immigrants have been found in the Rio Grande Valley sector since October, compared to 39 from the same period last year. Border Patrol agents also rescued 164 people, compared to 131 during the same period last year.

The 316-mile sector was the deadliest place to cross the border last year, recording 115 deaths in the 2014 fiscal year that ended September.

Agents have also recorded 15 drowning deaths since October, compared to 21 during the entire 2014 fiscal year. Migrants frequently try to swim or use makeshift rafts to cross the Rio Grande to reach the U.S.

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