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Air and Marine Operations Locates and Extracts Migrant Stranded and Alone in the Baboquivari Mountains

Release Date: 
January 27, 2021
CBP Air * Marine Operations Black Hawk near Tucson, AZ
CBP Air & Marine Operations
Black Hawk near Tucson, AZ

TUCSON, Ariz — U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents and U.S. Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) rescued a lost migrant in a remote location in the Baboquivari Wilderness Peak area Friday.

On the afternoon of January 22, the Arizona Air Coordination Center received information from the Pima County/City of Tucson 911 center that a migrant was lost, severely dehydrated, weak and could not walk somewhere in the Baboquivari Mountains. 

Armed only with GPS coordinates, an AMO Tucson Air Branch (TAB) AS-350 A-Star launched to attempt to find the individual.  At the same time, a BORSTAR team from Tucson Border Patrol Sector responded to the area.  The A-Star crew was able to locate the individual and relayed confirmed coordinates to the  agents making the treacherous three-mile hike into the mountains. A field medical assessment by the agents on the ground determined that the individual did not require immediate medical attention.

Based on the unforgiving terrain, failing light, and individual's condition, an AMO UH-60 Black Hawk aircrew also responding to the 911 call was able to perform a dynamic one-wheel landing near the individual and deployed additional agents to assist.  The individual and agents were loaded onto the Black Hawk and flown to a CBP facility near San Miguel, AZ.

“Our aircrews and BORSTAR are the best at what they do,” said Deputy Director, Tucson Air Branch, Hunter Robinson.  “Smugglers will frequently abandon those migrants who cannot keep up with a group.  Thankfully our agents were able to quickly respond, locate and extract the lone individual from this isolated location.”

Last modified: 
January 27, 2021