Three male U.S. citizens hiking in the Baboquivari Mountains east of Sells, Arizona, lost their way and called 9-1-1 for help late Tuesday evening.
Border Patrol agents from the Three Points substation, along with a Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue team (BORSTAR), responded with Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers to prepare for a rescue operation beginning at first light Wednesday.
Before daylight, however, Three Points agents located two of the hikers who had made their way to the bottom of a trailhead. The hikers told agents that the third hiker was still on top of the mountain and unable to proceed. After agents located the third hiker, a 66-year-old man, they stayed with him until sunrise when the BORSTAR team arrived to extract him.
After BORSTAR agents evaluated the hiker, they requested assistance from an Arizona DPS Ranger helicopter for a hoist extraction from the mountaintop to an awaiting ambulance for further treatment, evaluation and transport to a local area hospital.
In the Tucson Sector’s harsh desert environment, Border Patrol security operations often turn into humanitarian rescue missions. Border Patrol officials encourage anyone in distress, or witnessing others in distress, to call 9-1-1 or activate a rescue beacon before a casualty occurs.