US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Del Rio Sector Border Patrol Agents Rescue 79-Year-Old From Bottom of Canyon

Release Date: 
January 23, 2013

DEL RIO, TEXAS—On Saturday, Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents rescued an elderly man who had fallen at the bottom of a canyon, nine miles west of Comstock.

At 3 p.m. Saturday, Del Rio Sector received a call from Seminole Canyon State Park. Officials reported that a member of a guided tour group had fallen, while hiking in Presa Canyon, possibly suffering a broken hip. Several agents from the Comstock Border Patrol Station responded to a request for assistance.


Del Rio Sector agents rescue elderly man following a canyon fall


Meanwhile, a team of four BORSTAR (Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue) agents was dispatched from Del Rio Sector Headquarters to the Seminole Canyon area. One BORSTAR Emergency Medical Technician was transported to Seminole Canyon by a CBP Office of Air and Marine helicopter while three more traveled by ground to carry rescue equipment to the scene.

A Comstock agent, who is certified as a first responder, was able to begin treatment of the victim prior to the BORSTAR team's arrival. When the airborne BORSTAR EMT arrived, the first responder was able to provide vital patient information. When the remaining BORSTAR EMTs arrived at Seminole Canyon, the CBP pilot was able to shuttle them to a point near the patient's location. Once the victim was stabilized, BORSTAR and Comstock agents, along with State Park Police, were able to litter-carry him to a suitable location where the team could ascend out of the canyon. During the event, agents used a "technical rope rescue" system, rigging a progress-capturing device that aided in the vertical extraction of the patient.

The patient, a 79-year-old Massachusetts man, was turned over to Val Verde County Emergency Medical Services at 6:30 p.m.

"All of our agents are trained in basic first aid," said Rodolfo Karisch, Chief Patrol Agent, Del Rio Sector. "Many more are trained as first responders. BORSTAR is an elite corps of agents certified as EMTs and paramedics. They are trained to perform rescues in remote areas.

"This incident is a fine example of the high standards and professionalism the U.S. Border Patrol demonstrates on a daily basis."

During Fiscal Year 2012, Del Rio Sector agents performed a total of seven rescues.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017