CBP - U.S. Customs and Border Protection

01/17/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/17/2020 09:27

Border Patrol and Air and Marine Operations Rescue Missing Man in Kofa Mountains

YUMA, Ariz. - Yuma Sector Border Patrol and Air and Marine Operations-Yuma Air Branch located and rescued a 77-year-old man after receiving a call for assistance from the Yuma County Sheriff's Office (YCSO) Wednesday morning.

At approximately 8 a.m., YCSO requested assistance from the Yuma Sector Border Patrol to help locate a possible missing person. The man was last seen Saturday after failing to arrive at a predetermined location. A Yuma Air Branch pilot and a Border Patrol Tactical Unit agent activated and flew the presumed route of travel eventually locating the man and his vehicle stuck in a wash. The agent on board egressed to assist the individual and assess his condition. The Yuma Air Branch pilot returned to base to pick up a Yuma Sector Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue operator and an Emergency Medical Technician to assist in prepping the individual for transport. Two Wellton Station agents joined the effort and the team carried the 77-year-old man to the top of a hill where an Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter landed and picked him up.

'Having the Air and Marine Operations-Yuma Air Branch nearby and able to collaborate with our agents in locating individuals in distress is absolutely vital to ensuring lifesaving aid reaches those in need as quickly as possible,' said Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony J. Porvaznik. 'This cohesive partnership with our CBP Air and Marine Operations agents forms a seamless barrier of defense for our citizens and communities.'

Air and Marine Operations-Yuma Air Branch covers both the Yuma and El Centro Border Patrol sectors, and is responsible for roughly 125 miles of border in Arizona and California. In FY2019, Yuma Air Branch conducted seventy search and rescue missions.

'Working in collaboration with our CBP, and local partners is a critical aspect, allowing us to effectively carry out our rescue and recovery, and law enforcement mission, said AMO Yuma Branch Director James C. Schuetzler, Jr. Our pilots' ability to partner with, and insert Border Patrol agents, when and where they need to be, directly resulted in saving this man's life.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Individuals can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. Reporting illicit activity could result in saving someone's life.