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Two Day Search Leads to Rescue of Injured Immigrant

Release Date: 
January 11, 2017

TUCSON, AZ. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents, along with an air crew from CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and Arizona Department of Public Safety, rescued an undocumented male Honduran National Tuesday who had fallen down a steep cliff near Baboquivari Peak, southwest of Three Points, Arizona.

A Tohono O’odham Police Department officer contacted agents at the Three Points Substation on Sunday night, stating that a man in their custody reported that his traveling partner was left behind in the Baboquivari Mountains due to a broken ankle.

An initial search by AMO’s air crew had to be delayed until early Monday. Meanwhile, the Border Patrol Search and Trauma Team (BORSTAR) was activated to assist.  

Arizona Canyon Rescue
Arizona Canyon Rescue

Agents determined the subject’s general location on Monday, but agents had to repel into the area from an AMO Blackhawk helicopter to continue searching on foot. By late Monday, agents found the subject approximately 400-feet below a cliff’s edge. Agents were unable to locate a safe approach on foot and determined that a hoist extraction was necessary due to the extreme terrain.

With daylight disappearing, agents established a command-post overnight until a high-altitude aerial rescue could be launched the next morning.

On Tuesday morning, the Arizona Department of Public Safety used a helicopter to heli-rappel a DPS Trooper/Paramedic to the subject’s location. The man was stabilized and prepared for extraction. BORSTAR agents, DPS, and AMO successfully hoisted the injured man and transported him to a local hospital for treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

Agents later identified the man as a 42-year-old Honduran National illegally present in the U.S. Once released from the hospital, he will be processed for immigration removal proceedings. 

As an “All Threats Agency”, the U.S. Border Patrol is capable of immediately responding to and dealing with any threat or emergency along our nation’s borders. CBP welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous. 

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017