Tucson, Ariz. - Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents rescued 26 individuals in the desert over the holiday weekend.
On Friday, Ajo agents rescued three individuals in separate incidents aided by rescue beacon activations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection air support and a Mexican Search and Rescue team. Two of the individuals were treated for severe dehydration while the third received basic first aid.
Also on Friday, Ajo Station personnel received a call from Mexican officials stating they received a telephone call from an illegal alien in distress. The subject told authorities he crossed the border near Quitobaquito, walked approximately six miles, and was out of food and water. Shortly after 10 p.m., Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue agents informed the Ajo Station they had located the subject south of Kino Pass. The man was suffering from severe dehydration and required emergency medical attention. Because of the rugged terrain, BORSTAR agents had to transport the subject to a Forward Operating Base before he could be transferred to a helicopter for further medical treatment.
On Saturday, nine individuals were rescued in three separate incidents by agents assigned to the Douglas, Casa Grande and Tucson Stations. The rescue near Douglas began with a phone call from the Cochise County Sheriff's Office stating they received several calls from an unknown subject claiming to be in distress four miles east of the Douglas port. The subject reportedly experienced multiple dropped calls before authorities were able to connect him to the Douglas Station. Once he was connected, agents were able to ascertain his location and cell phone number. When the subject was finally located, he told agents he had been lost in the desert for four days with no food or water. The subject was treated for severe dehydration and transported to a local hospital.
Also on Saturday, Casa Grande agents rescued three individuals who were treated on-scene by BORSTAR agents while Tucson Station agents rescued four individuals, one of whom had to be transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.
On Sunday, Ajo agents patrolling in the West Desert rescued 14 individuals in three separate incidents with one subject requiring medical treatment due to severe dehydration.
Tucson Sector has more than 200 agents certified as emergency medical technicians and approximately 3,800 agents trained to provide aid to anyone in need. Individuals attempting to cross the Sonoran Desert face extremely hazardous conditions yet smugglers continue to put lives in danger by leading people through the harsh terrain and often abandoning people if they are physically unable to continue. In addition, those who cross illegally will face administrative consequences and potential criminal consequences.
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, the Department of Homeland Security has made significant investments towards establishing a secure and safe border environment and improving the quality of life throughout Arizona communities.
The Border Patrol welcomes assistance from the community. Report suspicious activity by calling toll free (1-877) 872-7435. All calls will be answered and will remain anonymous.