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Immigrant lost in desert saved by Border Patrol
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Immigrant lost in desert saved by Border Patrol

  • Border Patrol agents give a Mexican woman intravenous fluids before she was flown to a local hospital after agents responded to her call for help in the desert near Douglas.
    Customs and Border ProtectionBorder Patrol agents give a Mexican woman intravenous fluids before she was flown to a local hospital after agents responded to her call for help in the desert near Douglas.

Suffering from dehydration and severe blistering, a woman lost in the desert near Douglas used her cellphone to call for help and was rescued by U.S. Border Patrol agents on Monday afternoon, officials said.

Suspected of crossing into the United States illegally, the Mexican national used her cellphone to call Mexican emergency services around 1:00 p.m., according to a release from the agency.

Her call was routed to the agency's International Liaison Unit, which launched a helicopter to search for the woman, who was able to direct agents to her location, said the release.

The helicopter dropped off a Border Patrol agent trained in emergency medicine, who "medically stabilized"  her for dehydration, giving her intravenous fluids and treating her for heat-exhaustion.

She was later transported to a nearby hospital, where she will be treated for dehydration, as well as blistering on her feet from walking and blistering from the sun on her arms.

This year, Border Patrol has rescued 459 people in the desert and discovered 100 bodies.

Migrants deaths in the Sonoran desert remain a significant problem, even as the number of bodies discovered by agents continues to decrease.

The number of deceased people agents discovered has decreased 44% from the same time period last year.

However, as Border Action Network notes since 2011, at least 16 people have died crossing the border for every 10,000 apprehensions. That number fell only slightly in 2012 to 15 bodies per 10,000 apprehensions.

On August 23, the agency installed 10 new rescue beacons in the desert west of Tucson, extending the network of solar-powered towers as part of the "Blue Light of Life" campaign.

A total of 32 towers are mounted with mirrors to reflect sunlight, and have a high-intensity blue light that is visible for up to 10 miles at night.

The beacons are installed strategically, the agency said to save the lives of migrants in distress.

According to the agency, in 2013 the beacons were activated 97 times, resulting in the rescue of 165 people. From September 2013 to July 31, there were 83 activations and the agency rescued 142 people.

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