MARFA, Texas (Nexstar)- U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents in the Big Bend Sector say rescue beacons being deployed by CBP through partnerships with private landowners are saving lives.
At a news conference Friday, CBP said the beacons are proving to be an important tool for undocumented migrants to find them, day-or-night, and call for assistance in the unforgiving terrain of West Texas.
The rescue beacons are activated with the simple push of a button to notify Border Patrol of people in distress and CBP agents say activating a rescue beacon may be the only chance for survival an illegal migrant has.
The initial deployment of a rescue beacon near Sierra Blanca has resulted in four separate activations with 10 lives saved.
“There’s been an exponential increase in traffic across some of the most difficult terrain in all of Texas,” Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Sean L. McGoffin stated. “Rescue beacons are saving lives by allowing us to rescue people abandoned in the desert.”
Rescue beacons are painted with high-visibility orange markings, have instructions in multiple languages and have an elevated blue flashing light which can be seen from great distances at night. The entire unit is self-contained and powered by solar panels.