TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) extracted two migrants suffering from leg and back injuries in the Baboquivari Mountains.
At approximately 2:00p.m. on Thursday afternoon the U.S. Border Patrol’s Arizona Air Coordination Center received a call at approximately 2:25 p.m. routed through Tohono O’odham Police Dispatch, that two migrants were in distress and in need of medical aid in a remote area of the Baboquivari Mountains. The male and female Guatemalan nationals had been in the desert for several days, were out of water and could not walk any further. A2C2 was able to use the smartphone application WhatsApp to develop their location. At approximately 4 p.m. Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) was activated to perform a rescue and render aid, due to the subjects’ location in arduous and dangerous terrain.
A UH-60 Black Hawk crew launched from the Tucson Air Branch and arrived on scene around 7 p.m.; and the aircrew located the migrants, deep in the Baboquivari wilderness. The crew inserted two AMO Rescue Specialist from approximately 130’ above the ground. After completing the assessment of the migrants, they were secured in air rescue vests and helmets and hoisted from a higher altitude of 220 feet to reduce the effects of rotor wash. The migrants were transported to a baseball field at the nearby town of Three Points, AZ. where they were transferred to waiting BORSTAR agents at the Veterans Memorial Park and treated for dehydration and blisters on their feet.
“While our aircraft fleet is equipped with the latest in technology necessary to perform rescues such as this,” said Director of Air Operations, Tucson Air Branch, Michael Montgomery. “We must always remember the risks associated with these kinds of missions.”
AMO safeguards our Nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond. With federal agents and mission support personnel, aircraft, and marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO conducts its mission in the air and maritime environments at and beyond the border, and within the nation's interior.