Yuma’s Air Branch saves woman’s life

Contributed Photo/Courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection: A Border Patrol officer attends to a Honduran illegal alien. 

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

AJO – An Air and Marine Operations helicopter crew from the Yuma Air Branch spotted a signal fire Oct. 22, alerting them to a woman in distress approximately 19 miles southwest of Ajo.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection team landed nearby just before the woman collapsed and fell out of consciousness.

Agency partners with U.S. Border Patrol on the ground arrived on the scene and provided first response medical care while awaiting a civilian air ambulance to arrive with more support.

A LifeFlight helicopter transported the 41-year-old Honduran national to a local regional hospital where she was admitted and receiving advanced medical care.

“I am incredibly proud of this aircrew,” said James Schuetzler, director, Yuma Air Branch. “Their attention to detail and keen sense of awareness proved lifesaving in this situation. This woman was in severe distress and we were lucky to find her in time. While I am glad we could rescue her, I urge people not to take this risk of crossing the border illegally is too dangerous and never worth risking a life.”

Schuetzler encourages anyone in distress to call 911 immediately or activate a rescue beacon if possible. These methods are the fastest ways to alert first responders and pinpoint the location where help is needed.

Air and Marine Operations is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people. They apply advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities in interdiction, investigation, domain awareness, contingency operations, and national taskings to preserve America’s security interests.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Individuals can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll-free. Reporting illicit activity could result in saving someone’s life. 

Illegal alien passes away in Arizona hospital

TUBAC – On Oct. 13, Tucson Sector Border Patrol was notified of a 33-year-old woman from Mexico in need of medical care who was found by a Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputy near Tubac. The woman was immediately taken by EMS to an area hospital for further evaluation and care, and she received treatment while in U.S. Border Patrol custody. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is saddened to report that the individual succumbed to her injuries while still in the hospital, and was pronounced deceased by medical authorities on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 11:44 a.m.

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