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VIDEO RELEASE: CBP’s Air and Marine Operations and Cochise County Search and Rescue Team Up to Rescue an Injured Hiker from the Huachuca Mountains

Release Date: 
March 23, 2021
Air and Marine operations UH60 Black Hawk
Air and Marine Operations UH60 Black Hawk.
Editors Note: Click the picture for Video.

Sierra Vista, Ariz —U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents and Cochise County Sheriff’s Deputies (CCSO) team up to rescue a stranded hiker from the Huachuca Mountains.

On the afternoon of March 22, the AMO Tucson Air Branch received a call from CCSO Search and Rescue requesting air support for a U.S. citizen, solo female hiker stranded with a broken leg in the Huachuca mountains. The hiker was stranded on a hiking trail at over 7500 feet in elevation

An Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter had responded to assist; however, no landing zone was accessible due to the mountainous terrain and dense forest.  Additionally, winds were gusting at over 40 miles per hour making any landing impossible. Tucson Air Branch diverted a rescue hoist equipped UH60 Black Hawk already on patrol to support rescue request. The Black Hawk crew located the subject and lowered an AMO Aviation Enforcement Agent Emergency Medical Technician to the mountains below.  The agent performed an assessment of the situation on the ground, and with the help of the local search and rescue team packaged the hiker in a litter for hoist up to the hovering helicopter. Back in the helicopter, the AMO EMT and a BORSTAR (Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue) Agent stabilized the hiker. The Black Hawk crew transported the woman to Canyon Vista Hospital, Sierra Vista for treatment.

“It is immensely gratifying when we can leverage the same capabilities we use to secure our border, to rescue a Citizen of the United States in distress.” said Deputy Director, Tucson Air Branch, Hunter Robinson.  “It’s about working with public service partners to ensure the safety and security of our community.”

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.

Last modified: 
March 24, 2021