TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents rescued a pregnant woman and her husband on Sept. 20 near Sells, Arizona.
The Tucson Sector Search Trauma and Rescue Team, also known as BORSTAR, responded to a 911 call from a woman stranded in the Baboquivari Mountain Range. The woman, who is five months pregnant, stated her husband was nearby but separated by harsh terrain and inclement weather.
Agents immediately initiated a search-and-rescue operation and attempted to hike to the caller’s location but were forced to turn back due to the extreme conditions. The Office of Air and Marine provided a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter to assist with an aerial rescue, but heavy turbulence forced the crew to withdraw and organize another effort.
Multiple Border Patrol units descended on the couple’s location to make a third rescue attempt. As conditions cleared, agents were able to navigate the harsh terrain and locate the woman and her husband. Once located, agents carried the woman to safety.
Both individuals, nationals of Ecuador, were medically evaluated and granted Consulate access before being processed in accordance with Tucson Sector guidelines.
“As we can see from this situation, human smugglers have no regard for human life,” said Tucson Sector Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla, Jr. “This woman and her husband are very lucky to have been rescued in time.”
Border Patrol agents often place themselves in harm’s way, battling harsh terrain and extreme conditions to coordinate rescue efforts. These efforts have paid off with the rescue of more than 680 people since October 2014.
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.