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Cell Phone Aids Border Patrol in Illegal Alien Rescue

Release Date: 
February 10, 2010

Jamul, Calf. - Adverse weather conditions yesterday disoriented and incapacitated a Mexican man attempting to enter the country illegally, initiating a coordinated search and rescue operation on a mountain in Jamul, Claif.

At approximately 9 p.m., the Border Patrol's Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team responded to a 911 distress call from a mountainous area within the Otay County Open Space Preserve. Border Patrol requested Customs and Border Protection helicopter assets to assist in the search. At around 3 a.m., the helicopter pilot detected the faint light of the individual's cell phone and directed BORSTAR to the location.

Agents searched the area and found a 29-year-old male, Mexican national, suffering from hypothermia and unable to walk. Agents summoned San Diego Fire Copter One to the scene to extract the man from the mountain. At around 4.a.m., the illegal alien was transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation and treatment and was later released to the Border Patrol.

Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Sammie Anderson said, "This man is very fortunate. He could very well have perished if not for the professionalism, persistence, and the genuine concern for human life displayed by the brave men and women involved in this rescue."

BORSTAR has been involved in numerous rescue incidents during the recent inclement weather conditions in the San Diego area. BORSTAR is a specially trained rapid response search and rescue unit designed to meet the complexities of southwest border search and rescue operations; every agent on the unit is EMT certified.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021