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CBP Supports Bahamas Rescue Operations and Continues Preparations for U.S. Landfall

Release Date: 
September 4, 2019

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MIAMI – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is assisting in Bahamas rescue efforts following the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian over the weekend, and continuing preparations to respond when Dorian makes landfall in the United States.

CBP is working with the U.S. Agency for International Aid (USAID), a governmental agency that helps coordinate urgently needed disaster assistance in foreign lands, and with the government of the Bahamas.

A CBP Blackhawk helicopter crew deployed from Miami airlifted injured residents from Marsh Harbor in Abaco Islands, Bahamas to safety Sep. 3, 2019.
A CBP Blackhawk helicopter crew
deployed from Miami airlifted injured
residents from Marsh Harbor in Abaco
Islands, Bahamas to safety Sep. 3, 2019.

CBP launched two H60 Blackhawk helicopters Tuesday and crews airlifted 10 injured Bahamas residents to hospitals in Nassau, Bahamas. CBP P-3 aircraft conducted real-time aerial damage assessments for the government of the Bahamas that help prioritize rescue and recovery plans. CBP aircraft are conducting similar flight missions today.

Additionally, a CBP team of Field Operations Special Response Team officers (SRT) and Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue Team agents (BORSTAR) are prepared to deploy and conduct swift water rescues and emergency medical care during a search for survivors trapped in flooded structures. SRT and BORSTAR members are trained in urban search and rescue and possess advanced life-saving skills.

“Our hearts and prayers are with the Bahamian people who have just experienced a disastrous and horrific hurricane,” said CBP’s Region IV Lead Field Coordinator Diane J. Sabatino. “Customs and Border Protection is prepared to support the government of The Bahamas and USAID by continuing life-saving and life-sustaining operations to help get our nearest neighbors on the path to recovery. “

CBP has established a Command Center at Miami International Airport to coordinate the response to humanitarian flights arriving from the Bahamas and is engaged with local commercial charter vessels and marina clubs to support maritime relief efforts.

CBP remains in constant communication with local travel and trade stakeholders to facilitate business resumption operations when it is safe to do so. Miami and Port Everglades resumed processing cruise and cargo ships Tuesday, and airports are resuming international flights behind Hurricane Dorian.

CBP Region IV continues to adjust response plans as Hurricane Dorian tracks north, and established the Atlanta Area Command Monday to assist local, state and federal partners respond to rescue efforts in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

CBP Region IV covers Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands.

Historically, CBP officers and agents support local, state, and federal agency partners during natural or man-made disasters or other national emergencies. CBP contributes a variety of personnel and unique capabilities — including aerial and urban search and rescue, advanced first aid, and aviation assets with real-time aerial damage assessment and tracking and detection capabilities.

CBP’s highest priorities during a hurricane responses are to promote life-saving and life-sustaining activities, the safe evacuation of people leaving the impacted area, the maintenance of public order, the prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible and the speedy recovery of the region.

For information updates on preparedness and response efforts follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Instagram, Flickr and Twitter at @CBP, @CBPFlorida and @CBPSoutheast.

Last modified: 
September 4, 2019