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Customs and Border Protection Lifesaving Efforts on Increase in Remote Desert Locations

Release Date: 
June 14, 2012

Tucson, Ariz. - With summer temperatures rising, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents are working diligently to save lives across southern Arizona. Multiple lifesaving rescues were recently launched in collaboration with CBP's Office of Air and Marine.

On June 13, a CBP helicopter located an illegal immigrant in distress, west of Green Valley, Ariz. A Border Patrol agent certified as an Emergency Medical Technician was dispatched and promptly responded providing intravenous fluid therapy to the illegal immigrant because of his deteriorating health condition. The illegal immigrant was found to be severely dehydrated and was evacuated from the desert to an ambulance where he was transported to a local hospital for further treatment.

In a separate incident also on June 13, a CBP helicopter located two illegal immigrants in a remote area outside of Douglas that were suffering from severe dehydration. One man's health was in such poor condition that he had to be transported from the site to an awaiting ambulance by the CBP helicopter. Both men were transported to a local hospital for further treatment.

On June 12, a Casa Grande Station agent located a deceased person near Topawa, Ariz. The deceased male was later determined to be a Mexican national. The Tohono O'odham Police Department was contacted and has opened an investigation.

CBP Tucson Sector Border Patrol rescues have increased with 61 illegal immigrants rescued in May compared to 38 rescues of individuals during May 2011. Also, a total of 19 illegal immigrants perished in May compared to five during May 2011. Human smugglers increase their profits by forcing ill-prepared illegal immigrants into remote regions of the desert which often result in loss of life. The Tucson Sector Border Patrol continues to provide rapid response with BORSTAR, more than 200 agents cross-trained as EMTs, and collaboration with CBP air assets.

CBP welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling (877) 872-7435 toll free.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021