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Injured Honduran man rescued from desert by helicopter

A Honduran man was rescued from a steep cliff near Baboquivari Peak on Tuesday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, backed by a helicopter crew and a paramedic from Arizona Department of Public Safety, authorities said. 

On Sunday, a Tohono O'odham Police Department officer called Border Patrol agents at the nearby Three Points Substation and said that a man in his custody had left his traveling partner in the Baboquivari Mountains, approximately 45 miles southwest of Tucson, after he suffered a broken ankle, authorities said.

The agency activated members of the Border Patrol Search and Rescue Team, or BORSTAR, to assist, but had to delay sending out a helicopter crew with Air and Marine Operations until Monday morning, a spokesman for Tucson Sector Border Patrol said.

After determining the man's general location, a group of agents rappelled into the area from a Blackhawk helicopter, and searched for him on foot. Late Monday, they found the man approximately 400 feet below a cliff's edge. 

Unable to find a safe approach on foot, the agents decided to use a helicopter to hoist the man out of the extreme terrain. But with dusk falling, the agents decided to wait until morning and set up a command post overnight, said the spokesman. 

On Tuesday morning, a "trooper-paramedic" with Arizona Department of Public Safety rappelled from a DPS helicopter and stabilized the injured man, preparing him for evacuation. 

With help from BORSTAR agents, the Blackhawk helicopter hoisted the man out and transported him to a nearby hospital for treatment, the spokesman said. 

The man, identified only as an undocumented Honduran man by the agency, was treated for "non-life threatening injuries," the spokesman said. 

Last year, Border Patrol reported that the agents rescued 1,409 people in the Tucson Sector. 

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A Blackhawk helicopter with Air and Marine Operations, a part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, hoists an injured Honduran man from a ravine near Baboquivari Peak, approximately 45 miles southwest of Tucson.