Tucson Sees Third air Rescue in Past 10 Days
August 13, 2012
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  • By Phil Benson

    A mountain biker reported missing Saturday in the Huachuca Mountains has been rescued by a Blackhawk helicopter crew from Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air and Marine.

    The CBP operation was the third air rescue handled by the agency in the past 10 days.

    The man, whose name was not released, was airlifted to the Sierra Vista Regional Health Center where he was treated for dehydration and several other conditions.

    Fort Huachuca’s Military Police called the Naco Border Patrol Station, which helped find the missing man somewhere in the mountains south of the Army base.

    CBP’s Office of Air and Marine was alerted and the Tucson Air Branch assembled a Blackhawk helicopter crew to conduct a Helicopter Rope Suspension Technique.

    The Blackhawk crew spotted the missing biker at an elevation of 6,400 feet in the south end of Huachuca Canyon. The helicopter couldn’t land at the site because of the unsuitable terrain. The crew decided that agents should rappel from the helicopter to rescue the man.

    A crewmember was then fast-roped from the aircraft to assess the victim and fit him with an air-rescue vest. Meanwhile, the pilot and remaining crew departed to locate a safe landing zone (LZ).

    After locating a landing zone, the crew returned to the crewmember who had finished preparing the man for extraction. The Blackhawk then short-hauled the suspended agent and man to the landing zone where they loaded into the helicopter.