CBP Air and Marine Operations Aircrews Rescue Multiple Migrants in Arizona Desert

CBP Aircrew rescues a group of migrants who became dehydrated in the Arizona desert. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Yuma Sector)
File Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Yuma Sector

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) helicopter aircrews facilitated the rescue of multiple migrants who became lost and dehydrated in the Arizona desert. The rescues on Thursday led to the hospitalization of one severely dehydrated woman and the rescue of several others in the Yuma Sector.

A Yuma Air Branch AS-350 helicopter patrolling the desert area in the Growler Valley region of southwest Arizona on Thursday encounter a man waving his arms and running toward the helicopter. The aircrew agents turned toward the man and observed two people who appeared from the air to be in distress, according to information provided by Yuma Sector CBP officials.

The aircrew notified Border Patrol agents at the Ajo Station about the location of the distressed migrants. The migrants were approximately 25 miles northwest of Ajo, Arizona. The aircrew then landed in the desert to provide immediate assistance until the Ajo Station agents could arrive on scene.

The AMO aircrew provided water and initial first aid assistance after learning the three migrants had been lost for two days without water.

Ajo Station agents eventually arrived — including an EMT. The agents took custody of the quickly recovering migrants and transported them to the station for processing and removal under Title 42 Coronavirus protection protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A few hours later, an AMO YAB EC120 aircrew received a 911 distress call from two people who claimed to be lost and in distress near Gila Bend, Arizona.

The aircrew initiated a search and rescue operation and located the two people a short time later. The aircrew vectored ground-based Border Patrol agents to the location. When the first agent arrived and found the migrants, they called for an EMT and a Life Flight helicopter to extricate the woman and get her to a hospital quickly. The agent also called for an Arizona National Guard UH60 helicopter under Operation Guardian Support, officials stated.

The Life Flight aircrew arrived from Gila Bend and transported the female migrant with severe symptoms to the hospital. The man with less severe symptoms was transported by ground to the hospital.

“Working with Tucson and Yuma Sector Border Patrol Agents to locate individuals in distress is absolutely vital to ensuring lifesaving aid reaches those in need as quickly as possible,” said AMO Yuma Air Branch Director James C. Schuetzler, Jr., “This cohesive partnership with our USBP partners forms a seamless barrier of defense for our citizens, communities, and other in need.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.


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