TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Earlier this week, two illegal immigrants were rescued in the Ajo area by Border Patrol agents from the Tucson sector. With the heat of the summer on the way Border Patrol could see more immigrants in distress in the desert.
In a number of these cases, where illegal immigrants were found by BP agents, a rescue beacon was used. These beacons are about 30 feet tall, and consist of a battery pack and solar panels. Customs and Border Protection officials say they have 22 rescue beacons out in the Tucson sector alone and will be adding 10 new beacons in the coming weeks. All should be installed by the end of summer.
According to BP officials in the last seven months there have been 122 rescues and over 80 of them were due to the rescue beacons.
The beacons are environmentally friendly and mobile, so they can be moved to higher traffic areas if needed. They are an effective piece of life-saving equipment and the new ones will be strategically placed where many deaths or rescues have occurred, said CBP officials.
Each rescue beacon costs about $3,800.