TUCSON, Ariz. – As temperatures rise, Tucson Sector Border Patrol officials want to remind the public that this time of year is an especially dangerous time in Arizona’s deserts.
Since Friday, Border Patrol agents have rescued 46 people stranded or lost in the desert, bringing the number to 52 so far this month. At least seven of those were from rescue beacon activations. Tucson Sector maintains 34 rescue beacons that, when activated, initiate an immediate response from the nearest Border Patrol asset.
It is physically impossible for the average person to carry enough water to survive several days of walking through Arizona’s desert. In addition, a lack of infrastructure in remote areas makes it impossible to quickly find help in an emergency. As a result, Border Patrol agents often find migrants who were abandoned because they could not keep up with their human smuggler.
Although Tucson Sector employs more than 275 emergency medical technicians and more than 20 paramedics, there’s no guarantee that someone stranded in a remote area will be found in time to prevent the loss of life.
Arizona’s desert shows no mercy for those unprepared for its remote, harsh terrain and unpredictable weather. The Border Patrol advises anyone in distress to call 9-1-1 or activate a rescue beacon as soon as possible.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.