TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Border agents rescued a lost migrant in a remote area of the Baboquivari Peak Wilderness in southern Arizona, early Wednesday.
Around 2:30 a.m., the Arizona Air Coordination Center was routed a 911 call originally received by the Tohono O’odham Police Department.
A female migrant stated she was alone and unable to walk. Officials determined she was stranded deep in the Baboquivari Mountain Range, more than 13 miles north of the border.
The woman’s GPS location information was given to Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents, who were able to locate the woman around 7 a.m. After assessing her condition, they determined she would need to be airlifted out.
And it wasn’t an easy task. Authorities say the rugged terrain prohibited the rescue helicopter from safely landing, so the crew conducted a 125-foot hoist operation to reach the woman in distress.
A medically-trained rescue specialist helped stabilize the woman, and determined she required higher level of care. The woman was flown to the nearest Border Patrol checkpoint, where medics continued treating her injuries while awaiting the arrival of an ambulance.
“Luckily, this woman was equipped with a cell phone and was able to call for help,” said Tucson Air Branch Deputy Director Hunter Robinson. “Deep in the Baboquivari Mountains, a cell phone signal can mean the difference between life and death.”