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CBP Air and Marine Operations and Border Patrol Perform Multiple Rescues in Southwest Arizona

Release Date: 
May 22, 2020
Multiple Rescues in Southwest Arizona

YUMA, Ariz. – Air and Marine Operations—Yuma Air Branch working with Yuma and Tucson Sector Border Patrol, located and rescued two separate groups of people in need in southwestern Arizona Thursday.

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
A CBP helicopter crew landed to assist illegal
aliens in distress, until Border Patrol agents
could arrive. 

A Yuma Air Branch (YAB) AS-350 aircrew on a routine patrol in the Growler Valley (approximately 25 miles northwest of the Ajo, AZ) Thursday morning when they discovered an individual waving his arms who ran in the direction of the helicopter when he saw it. The crew turned toward the man and located two additional individuals in distress. The aircraft notified Ajo Station of the location and landed to provide water and assistance until ground agents arrived. The three subjects stated they had been in the desert for over a week and had been out of water for two days. Border Patrol agents, including one who was an EMT, arrived on scene and took custody of the individuals.

A few hours later, another YAB EC120 crew responded to a 911 call for two individuals in distress. The helicopter flew to the reported location, approximately 20 miles southwest of Gila Bend, AZ, and located the two individuals after a short search. A Tucson Sector Border Patrol Agent arrived on scene and requested an EMT and a Life flight helicopter. In the meantime, a Yuma Sector EMT launched in an Operation Guardian Support (OGS) AZ National Guard UH60 toward the scene. The Life flight helicopter out of Gila Bend, AZ arrived on scene and transported a female subject to the hospital, while the male subject was taken to the hospital with less severe symptoms.

“Working with Tucson and Yuma Sector Border Patrol Agents to locate individuals in distress is absolutely vital to ensuring lifesaving aid reaches those in need as quickly as possible,” said AMO Yuma Air Branch Director James C. Schuetzler, Jr., “This cohesive partnership with our USBP partners forms a seamless barrier of defense for our citizens, communities, and other in need.”

Last modified: 
May 22, 2020