USBP Rescues Two on Holiday Weekend

Release Date: July 7, 2020

SAN DIEGO — U.S. Border Patrol agents working alongside, San Diego Fire Department, and Cal Fire rescued two people during two events this weekend.

The first incident occurred on Sunday, July 5 at approximately 1 p.m. A USBP agent working on Otay Mountain came across an adult male Mexican national who was in severe distress. The agent radioed for help, reporting that the man appeared to be suffering from heat stroke. USBP’s Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) Unit responded. Evaluating the man, BORSTAR requested emergency medical services (EMS) and an air extraction due to the rugged, mountainous terrain.

Lacking an available winch, air extraction was not feasible at the site where the man was located. When Cal Fire personnel arrived on scene, they decided to put the man on a litter and carry him out of the canyon to an area where a helicopter could land.

Moving quickly, four USBP agents assisted Cal Fire and carried the victim 100 to 150 yards to the Otay Mountain Truck Trail. Once there, the man was transferred to a helicopter and flown to the Cal Fire station in Dulzura, CA. Waiting EMS then transported him to a hospital for further treatment.

The man was treated for dehydration, discharged from the hospital, and subsequently returned to Mexico.

The second event occurred at approximately 6 p.m. later that day. A deputy from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department contacted USBP to report a distress call originating in the Otay Mountain wilderness area. The deputy reported a 39-year-old female had suffered a snake bite, possibly venomous, and asked agents to respond. Working with EMS, a USBP emergency medical technician, a BORSTAR unit, and Aerial Support to Regional Enforcement Agencies (ASTREA) all responded to the location provided.

A USBP agent in a helicopter was participating in the search and observed a group of seven people on the ground waving him down. Based on the information provided by the airborne agent, ASTREA was able to locate the injured woman and hoist her to safety. She was immediately transported to an area hospital for treatment. USBP agents subsequently determined she was a Mexican national illegally present in the U.S.

USBP agents returned to the woman’s rescue site and determined that the six remaining individuals were also Mexican nationals illegally present in the U.S.

The woman’s six companions were processed for removal. She will also be removed once released from the hospital.

“We have said it many times, do not place your life or the lives of your loved ones in the hands of ruthless smugglers,” stated San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke. “These criminal organizations use dangerous routes and do not consider the life-threatening consequences. Thankfully, USBP and our partners were able to provide aid in time.”

In fiscal year to date 2020, U.S. Border Patrol agents recorded 34 rescues and 11 deaths in the San Diego Sector.

To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.