Crews rescue woman who broke leg while hiking on Arizona Trail
WANE-TV (March 25, 2021) by Fernie Ortiz
Rescue crews plucked a woman from the rugged Huachuca Mountains of southeastern Arizona after she broke a leg while hiking alone, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release.
The Cochise County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team requested air support to get the woman to safety after she became stranded on a hiking trail that was over 7,500 feet in elevation on Monday afternoon.
Initially, an Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter responded to assist, but there was no accessible landing zone in the mountainous terrain and dense forest. Additionally, 40 MPH winds made any landing impossible, the release said.
Deputies then called agents with CBP’s Air and Marine Operations Tucson Air Branch, who responded in a UH60 Black Hawk equipped with a rescue hoist.
The Black Hawk crew located the woman and crews on the ground and lowered an AMO Aviation Enforcement Agent Emergency Medical Technician to the mountain below.
Video released by CPB shows the agent being lowered and contacting the local search and rescue team before they strap the hiker to a stretcher and hoist her up to the hovering helicopter.
The Black Hawk crew stabilized the hiker and flew her to Canyon Vista Hospital in Sierra Vista, Ariz.
“It is immensely gratifying when we can leverage the same capabilities we use to secure our border, to rescue a Citizen of the United States in distress,” the deputy director of Tucson Air Branch, Hunter Robinson, said in a statement. “It’s about working with public service partners to ensure the safety and security of our community.”
To watch the rescue video, click here.