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  4. Border Patrol Ramps up Patrols in Otay Mountain Wilderness

Border Patrol Ramps up Patrols in Otay Mountain Wilderness

Release Date
Thu, 07/23/2020

SAN DIEGO — San Diego Sector U.S. Border Patrol is increasing its Otay Mountain patrols to deter migrants attempting to enter the U.S. illegally in this dangerous terrain.  People crossing illegally into the U.S. should know, not only is it a crime, it often results in serious injury or death during the hot summer months.

Ramp up
In an effort to save lives, the  Border Patrol's 
San Diego Sector has ramped up patrols in the 
Otay Mountain Wilderness.

“Transnational criminal organizations are notorious for putting migrants in dangerous situations for monetary gain.  Smugglers working for these organizations often use the remote Otay Mountain Wilderness to avoid being apprehended.  To help curtail such activity, San Diego Sector is having more agents patrol the area to quickly render aid to those in need and to further deter criminal organizations from using this route,” said San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke.

The Border Patrol's Border Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) Unit also will be on standby as summer temperatures reach hazardous levels.  As agents and others respond to 911 calls for severe dehydration, heat stroke, or heat exhaustion, BORSTAR offers additional medical and rescue capabilities in dangerous or unapproachable areas.

San Diego County has a unique environment that includes snowy mountains in the winter and hot deserts in the summer.  Those not familiar with the area and traveling on foot can be caught off-guard and succumb to the intense elements.  Rattlesnake sightings have also been on the rise and an illegal migrant nearly lost her life recently after being bit.

Chief Heitke continued, “I urge people who are considering an illegal entry into the U.S. to think about the consequences and to reconsider putting your life or that of a family member in danger.”

Chief Heitke indicated, “Our goal is to prevent tragedy.  By increasing public awareness, stepping up patrols, and alerting potential migrants to the serious dangers of illegal border crossings, we hope to save lives.  Whether it be through the desert, the mountains, at sea, or in hidden compartments, do not allow you or your loved ones to be placed in perilous situations by smugglers.  They only care about money, not your safety.”

Between Oct. 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, SDC has apprehended 35,464 people attempting to enter the U.S. illegally and assisted with 37 rescues.

Although securing the border is San Diego Sector’s main objective, providing education to the public to prevent the loss of life or injuries is vital for the organization.  Heat related illnesses and deaths are usually preventable.  Consume sufficient water regularly, regardless of thirst. Cool down in shady areas and limit physical activity.  Wear a hat and lightweight, loose-fitting, light colored clothing.  Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.  Caution others about the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and its prevention.  Remember to call 911 in the case of an emergency and do not wait until it is too late.  The sooner emergency services are contacted, the better the odds are that you will survive.

Related links:

Border Patrol Rescues Two Lost Deep in Mountains

Agents Rescue Man Abandoned by Smugglers

First Responders Rescue 5 from Otay Mountain

USBP Rescues Two on Holiday Weekend

Agents Rescue 2 Small Children and 15 Adults in 5 Separate Events within 2 Days

Agents Rescue Woman and Juvenile Abandoned by Smugglers

Last Modified: Feb 03, 2021