As temperatures rise, Tucson Sector Border Patrol officials want to remind the public that this time of year is an especially dangerous time to become stranded in the Arizona desert.
During the month of May, Border Patrol agents rescued 130 people stranded or lost in the desert; eight of those were from a rescue beacon activation. This brings the total number to 524 rescues this fiscal year.
It is physically impossible for the average person to carry enough water to survive several days walking through Arizona’s desert during this time of the year. In addition, the lack of infrastructure in remote areas makes it impossible to quickly find help in an emergency. As a result, agents often find migrants who were abandoned because they could not keep up with their smuggler.
Tucson Sector maintains 34 rescue beacons that, when activated, initiate an immediate response from the nearest Border Patrol asset. Additionally, Tucson Sector employs more than 275 emergency medical technicians and more than 20 paramedics, but there’s no guarantee that someone stranded in a remote area will be found in time to prevent the loss of life. The Border Patrol advises anyone in distress to call 9-1-1 or activate a rescue beacon as soon as possible.