By Steve Neavling
CBP rescued a seasoned hunter who was injured from a fall and was running out of water in the Huachucha Mountains in Arizona.
CBP’s Air and Marine Operations were called to the hiker’s location at about 2 p.m. on March 16 following a report that the woman may have broken her ankle and was running out of water.
CBP used a UH-60 Black Hock helicopter to help with the rescue because of high winds and rugged terrain.
Upon arrival, given the terrain and winds, the crew took extra time to find the best place to insert two Rescue Specialists. After establishing a hover approximately 200 feet above the ground, the crew inserted the Rescue Specialists via hoist who medically evaluated the patient. The Rescue Specialists realized that a litter extraction may not be possible because the aircraft would not be able to get low enough to support the line to keep the litter stable. A Rescue Specialist a certified EMT performed a brief medical assessment and the patient stated that she could walk but not very far. Due to the shifting winds, it was necessary for the Rescue Specialists to move the hiker to another location to safely airlift her from the mountain. The hiker was packaged in an air rescue vest, hoisted back into the helicopter, and transported to Cochise County Search and Rescue personnel several miles away.
“Air and Marine aircrews are highly trained and experienced in performing these challenging types of rescues,” Michael Montgomery, director of the Tucson Air Branch, said. “Despite the environmental challenges posed by the high altitude and gusting winds our crews safely provided initial medical care and relocated this patient to a higher level of care.”
To see a video of the rescue, click here.