U.S Customs Air and Marine Operations rescue hiker in Sabino Canyon

Contributed Photo/Courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection: A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter was utilized to rescue a hiker in Sabino Canyon who suffered from heatstroke.

Contributed Article/Courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection

TUCSON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) extracted a hiker suffering a heat emergency in Sabino Canyon over the weekend.

Friday afternoon, Pima County search and rescue (SAR) contacted the U.S. Border Patrol’s Arizona Air Coordination Center (A2C2) requesting a hoist capable UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter for a heatstroke victim in Sabino Canyon approximately 2.5 miles along the Seven Falls trail northeast of Tucson. At the time, the SAR team was still en route to the victim and requested a helicopter in case air evac was necessary. The A2C2 relayed the request to the AMO Tucson Air Branch at Davis Monthan Air Force Base. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations Video

At approximately 1:15 p.m., the UH-60 crew launched from the Air Branch and was on scene within 7 minutes. Upon arrival, the aircrew located the patient and the SAR team, but could not find a suitable landing area near the patient due to the steep, rugged terrain. The aircrew inserted a single Rescue Specialist via hoist at approximately 35 feet. The patient and Rescue Specialist were extracted via hoist. An AMO Emergency Medical Technician onboard assessed the 25-year male U.S. citizen patient who was suffering from heat-related injuries. The patient was transported to a Pima County Sheriff’s Office rescue team nearby.

“When someone is in trouble whether it be along the border or elsewhere throughout southern Arizona, citizenship, nationality, or immigration status is a non-issue,” said Director of Air Operations, Tucson Air Branch, Michael Montgomery.  “The same tools used for border security are immediately directed to the person in need whether they are atop an inaccessible peak in the Baboquivari Mountains or elsewhere.”

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