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Border Patrol agents, Pinal County deputies rescue men near Ajo

Border Patrol agents rescued four men from the western section of Pima County during two separate incidents Thursday, including one man who was airlifted to a local hospital by a helicopter crew from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, authorities said. 

Around 11 a.m., agents from the Ajo Station encountered two men in a remote canyon in the Little Ajo Mountains, just a few miles south of Ajo, Ariz., about 110 miles west of Tucson. The two agents, both certified emergency medical technicians, saw that one of the men appeared to have a broken arm, and they requested help after they "immediately recognized the need for a higher level of care," said a spokesman for the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector. 

The agents called for help, and a helicopter from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to help. The man, identified only as a 35-year-old Honduran, was airlifted to a local hospital so his arm could be treated, the spokesman said. 

Nearby, agents from the Three Points Station, along with a team from the agency's Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue, or BORSTAR, responded to a 911 call from two men, who said they were lost, the spokesman said. 

A helicopter crew from Air and Marine Operations, a part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol's parent agency, was added to the search. A short time later, the crew spotted the two men, and directed agents to their location. 

The agents discovered the two men were suffering from severe dehydration and mild hypothermia, so the agents hung IV bags in the branches of an ocotillo, handed the men mylar survival blankets, and built a small fire to "help stabilize the shivering men," the spokesman said. 

All the men were in stable condition, the spokesman said, adding that they are facing federal immigration charges for "following their illegal entry in to the U.S." 

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A Border Patrol agent sits by a fire lit to keep two shivering men warm during their rescue near Ajo on Thursday. The men called 911 and told agents they were lost, and BORSTAR agents treated them for severe dehydration and mild hypothermia.


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