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Air and Marine in Southern Arizona Provides Fast Rope Platform to Rescue Injured Man

Release Date: 
March 7, 2012

Tucson, Ariz. - Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents partnered with the Customs and Border Protection's Office of Air and Marine to conduct a technical mountain rescue resulting in the safe recovery of a 40-year-old man with a broken femur.

Fast rope is prepared to extract injured individual. Photo Courtesy of Customs and Border Protection



Border Patrol agents assigned to the elite search, trauma and rescue team known as BORSTAR located an individual in distress yesterday afternoon while patrolling remote portions of the Boboquivari Mountains, southwest of Tucson. The Mexican male had entered the United States illegally and subsequently injured his leg after rolling down a hill. Due to the state of his injuries, responding agents determined the man would need to be air lifted from the mountains.

Additional BORSTAR agents were mobilized with the help of a Blackhawk helicopter crew from OAM. Due to the terrain, however, it was necessary for agents to use what rescuers refer to as a "Fast Rope Insertion Extraction System" for entering the scene and extracting the victim without the helicopter landing.

Following the rescue, the man was transported to a local Tucson hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

Combining severe temperatures and jagged terrain has the potential for producing deadly results for anyone injured in the remote mountainous region of the Sonora desert. The U.S. Border Patrol and OAM frequently combine their assets to save lives.

Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling (877) 872-7435 toll free.

All CBP assets in Arizona were realigned under a unified command structure in February 2011. Joint Field Command - Arizona unifies the Tucson and Yuma Border Patrol Sectors and Air Branches, as well as the Tucson Field Office, to enhance border security, commercial enforcement and trade facilitation missions to meet Arizona's unique challenges. Follow us on Twitter @CBPArizona.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017