Aug 8, 2012 7:21 PM
TUCSON - An illegal immigrant who was stuck on a near-vertical cliff in the Cerro Colorado Mountains near Arivaca was rescued Tuesday with the help of Border Patrol agents and a Customs and Border Protection helicopter.
A Mexican national in the U.S. illegally called 911 twice Monday, stating he was lost and stuck on a ledge, according to a CBP news release. A CBP helicopter spotted the man at around 10 p.m.
The air crew determined the man needed help getting down the mountain, and the Tucson Sector Border Patrol's Search Trauma and Rescue Team (BORSTAR) responded, but decided to wait until the next day to rescue the man.
By 5 a.m. Tuesday, rescuers started their ascent using a Technical Rope Rescue System. By 9 a.m., a BORSTAR agent 30-feet from the subject, but had to stop due to a lack of anchor points on the cliff. Rescuers determined that the man would have to be extracted by air.
A CBP Blackhawk helicopter responded and lifted the man off the cliff using a Helicopter Rope Suspension Technique, the release states. Air agents secured the man with a rope and prepared him for extraction. Once he was airlifted to a safe area, he was lowered to agents on the ground. He was medically evaluated for mild dehydration, and then transported to the Tucson Sector Border Patrol Station for processing.
"Through combined efforts, we are able to respond to a vast array of situations," said. Tucson Air Branch Director Mitch Pribble. "This rescue operation is the perfect example how Air and Marine works side-by-side with our sister components in Arizona to foster a more tightly knit integrated CBP organization."
Images, video courtesy Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System