Two Central American migrants experienced the near-deadly consequences of illegally crossing the border into the California mountains close to San Diego. Both migrants, in separate incidents, faced nearly deadly illness after getting lost in the wilderness areas.
San Diego Sector’s Foreign Operations Branch received an emergency call on Friday from Mexican government authorities regarding a man lost on the U.S. side of the border. U.S. officials dispatched Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) agents to Otay Mountain where they began a search and rescue operation, according to information obtained from San Diego Sector Border Patrol officials.
Over the weekend, #BorderPatrol agents rescued 2 men in separate events. There is no safe way to cross the border illegally. Thankfully, our robust search-and-rescue program, binational collaboration, & local partnerships continue to save lives. Read: https://t.co/06x8Fz5YS3 pic.twitter.com/zjkSsJH0gd
— Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke (@USBPChiefSDC) June 7, 2021
The BORSTAR team found the man — later identified as a Guatemalan national illegally present in the United States — on the mountain in East County. Agents reported the 41-year-old man was coughing up blood and struggling to breathe.
The BORSTAR agents teamed up with the San Diego Sector Strike Team to litter-carry the migrant off the mountain to an awaiting ambulance. Doctors at a nearby hospital treated the Guatemalan migrant for hypertension and dehydration.
On Sunday, San Diego Sector agents encountered a migrant who illegally crossed the border into the wilderness area near Jamul, officials stated. The agents said the man appeared to be in an altered mental state and fell in and out of consciousness. Border Patrol agents and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection workers helped carry the man to an awaiting ambulance.
The medical team transported the man, identified as a 27-year-old Honduran national who illegally crossed the border, to a nearby hospital.
“There is no safe way to cross the border illegally,” San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in a written statement. “Thankfully, our robust search-and-rescue program, collaboration with foreign officials, and local partnerships continue to pay dividends and save lives.”