PINE VALLEY, Calif. — U.S. Border Patrol Agents and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air Interdiction Agents rescued five individuals who were lost in the desert and suffering from heat related illnesses on Thursday morning.
Around 7:45 p.m., on Sept. 27th, the California Highway Patrol Dispatch relayed to the Campo Border Patrol Station information about five individuals who had called 911 to report they were lost in the desert.
The Boulevard Border Patrol Station deployed agents to the area, and at approximately 8:15 p.m., agents were able to make contact via phone with one of the individuals and determined their GPS coordinates. The coordinates indicated that they were about nine miles north of interstate 8 in an extremely remote area. The individual informed the agent they were in distress, had run out of water many hours before, and had resorted to drinking urine. One individual was also unable to walk due to a foot injury, and was vomiting and suffering from extreme heat distress.
CBP’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) in Yuma, Ariz., dispatched a helicopter crew towards the station to pick up Border Patrol Agents from the USBP’s San Diego Sector Border Search, Trauma, and Rescue Unit (BORSTAR). Enroute to the station, the helicopter crew spotted a signal fire the group had lit and landed to assess the situation. After making note of the number of people in the group, and providing the group with water, the helicopter crew continued to the station. Around 9:30 p.m., the crew returned to the group with two BORSTAR agents. The helicopter returned to the station with one BORSTAR agent and the most severely injured individual from the group.
BORSTAR agents made their way back to the lone agent and rest of the group, to guide them out of the desert over land. During the trip back to the group the agents used ATVs, and even had to resort to a ride to the scene on a rail cart courtesy of a railroad employee in the area. The railroad employee and the BORSTAR agents also used the rail cart to bring the group back out of the desert, and back to the station for processing and further evaluation.
All five individuals were identified as Mexican nationals, three adult males, one adult female, and one juvenile female. All five were processed for removal. The injured individual was turned over to Emergency Medical Services at the station and transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation and treatment. He was subsequently discharged and released back to the custody of the Border Patrol.