Contributed Photo/Courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection: This still frame from a rescue by the CBP’s Air and Marine Operations shows the hiker being airlifted off the frozen mountain.
Contributed Article/Courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection
SIERRA VISTA – A stranded hiker was rescued Friday, by an aircrew from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) Tucson Air Branch launched a UH-60 aircrew to the Huachuca Mountains south of Sierra Vista after being requested by the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies had been searching for an Australian national who became stuck in mountainous terrain in freezing temperatures on Thursday.
While weather prevented liftoff Thursday evening, an aircrew launched early Friday morning. Crewmembers located the hiker and successfully conducted a hoist rescue. The man was flown down to waiting deputies and emergency personnel for evaluation.
“Our crews are the best at what they do. They are highly skilled and go above and beyond to ensure the best outcomes for everyone they encounter,” said Norman Montgomery, Director Tucson Air Branch. “This could have been a tragic fatal outcome if not for the diligence of the agents.”
AMO agents have rescued 60 individuals this fiscal year so far.
AMO provides aviation and maritime expertise, observation, protection, and other related air and marine capabilities as part of a whole-of-government approach to major and large-scale incidents. Contingency and national security operations include, but are not limited to search and rescue operations, federal disaster relief, humanitarian relief, designated National Special Security Events, terror threat response, active shooter incidents, and partnering with non-law enforcement foreign operations for training and exercises.