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CBP, U.S. Border Patrol Agents Rescue Elderly Woman in the Pasayten Wilderness

Release Date: 
August 22, 2011

Oroville, Washington - Coordinated search efforts by CBP, U.S. Border Patrol Agents located the 72 year old woman who was reported lost Sunday night near Haig Mountain, located in the rugged Pasayten Wilderness of upper north central Washington State.

The woman was hiking on Boundary Trail #533 with a group of three others when she became separated around 1:00PM. The group activated a SPOT emergency locator beacon after several hours of unsuccessfully attempting to locate the missing woman. Okanogan County, Washington Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue (SAR) contacted the U.S. Border Patrol's Oroville Station and requested assistance in the rescue effort. Border Patrol agents from the Spokane Sector's Horse Patrol unit, Border Search Trauma and Rescue unit (BORSTAR), a K9 Tracking team and the Mountain Operations Team (MOT) coordinated with the CBP Office of Air and Marine (OAM) and responded to the group's location 25 miles west of Oroville, Washington.

Border Patrol Horse Patrol agents reached the hikers' campsite at approximately 5:00 a.m., having traversed 15 miles through mountain passes in darkness. The coordinated search expanded to included OAM helicopter support and extensive response on the ground. Searchers located the elderly woman shortly after 10:00 a.m. over a mile from the campsite. The woman was severely disoriented and bruised from a fall, but otherwise in good physical condition. The elderly victim was transported by helicopter to EMS responders and then to North Valley Hospital in Tonasket, Washington.

"The quick action and rapid response of our highly skilled agents resulted in today's success," said Spokane Sector Chief Gloria Chavez. "Border Patrol agents are sworn to serve, trained to respond, and prepared to act when life and safety are on the line."

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.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017