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Monday, August 06, 2012

CBP Assists with Rescue of Missing Hiker


Office of Air and Marine Blackhawk airlifts victim to safety

Tucson, Ariz. – A 70-year-old man missing after going for a hike in Sabino Canyon yesterday was found alive this afternoon and airlifted out of the canyon by a Blackhawk helicopter from U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air and Marine (OAM) in Tucson.

The OAM helicopter and crew joined forces with Tucson Sector’s Border Patrol Search and Rescue team and other teams from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, National Park Service, and agencies from Maricopa and Cochise counties to search for Florencio Gallego after he did not return from his hike in the Seven Falls area as expected.

OAM’s Blackhawk with aircrew was launched from Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson after receiving a request for assistance from Pima County Search and Rescue.

The Blackhawk preformed a one-wheel style landing due to the terrain and loaded Gallego and the PCSO Search and Rescue team. Once all individuals were on board, the Blackhawk flew to the Incident Command Center where an ambulance was standing by to transfer the missing hiker to a nearby hospital.

“CBP is committed to working closely with federal, state, local and tribal agencies to help save lives in Arizona’s canyons and deserts which can be dangerous anytime of the year,” said Arizona Joint Field Commander Jeffrey Self. “This rescue effort is a good example of CBP’s integrated approach in Arizona. It demonstrates how Office of Air and Marine assets in the air with Border Patrol agents on the ground work with our partners to serve the community.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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