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Border Patrol’s Rescue Beacons and 911 Location Marker Project Continue to Save Lives

Release Date: 
July 31, 2020

LAREDO, Texas – Laredo Sector Border Patrol is investing in additional rescue beacons and in the 911 Location Marker Project to save immigrants who are lost or abandoned in the south Texas terrain.

Human smugglers often abandon migrants in the harsh Texas terrain.  These individuals are often left with little to no water, not knowing where they are nor how to get to their destination.  As a result, many perish along the border every year.  Border Patrol rescue beacons and the 911 Location Marker Project have been put in place to help prevent deaths as a result of being lost or abandoned.

The rescue beacons provide the capability for a migrant to call for medical assistance or rescue while automatically providing a location.  Rescue beacons are self-contained, solar powered units placed in remote locations considered to be high risk for people in distress.  Approximately 35 feet tall, each is equipped with a high visibility strobe light on top of the structure.  Many of the towers utilize a camera system to determine an appropriate response and aid in the rescue effort.  U.S. Border Patrol encourages anyone in distress to activate a rescue beacon or call 911 before they become a casualty.

The 911 Location Marker Project, formerly the Deer Blind Initiative, is a system to aid landowners and hunters in reporting of suspicious or illegal activities using prominent landmarks such as fences, deer blinds and buildings.  This system provides landowners/hunters a method for notification, as well as, a known location for Border Patrol agents responding to illegal activity or assisting persons in distress.  Landmarks are tagged with a placard showing an alphanumeric identifier.  This identifier can be used to find the GPS coordinates of the where the placard has been placed.

The Laredo Sector is dedicated to preventing the loss of human life, and will continue to deploy additional rescue beacons throughout the area of operation.  Additionally, the Border Patrol will continue to work closely with local landowners to facilitate the placement of 911 Location Marker Project placards.  Through these efforts, the Laredo Sector hopes to significantly reduce the loss of life along the border.

Rescue beacons at Laredo Sector

-CBP-

Last modified: 
July 31, 2020