Woman battling hypothermia hospitalized after crossing border

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) — Border Patrol agents and firefighters rescued five border-crossers early Thursday morning near Otay Mountain and airlifted one of them to a hospital for treatment of severe hypothermia.

Agents found the group in an area of thick brush off Otay Mountain Truck Trail south of Doghouse Junction and called for assistance around 1:15 a.m., Cal Fire San Diego Capt. Thomas Shoots said.

Fire crews requested a helicopter to help them reach the group, but the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and the U.S. Coast Guard could not fly to the rescue scene because of bad weather, Shoots said.

Cal Fire crews ended up hiking 3 1/2 hours to reach the location, the final part through shoulder-high brush, he said.

When crews reached the group, they discovered that a woman was suffering from severe hypothermia, though the other four men in the group did not need medical treatment, Shoots said.

By 7:30 a.m., conditions had improved slightly and a SDFRD helicopter was able to reach the scene to airlift the woman, whose age was not immediately available, to a hospital, where she was admitted in critical condition, he said.

A Border Patrol helicopter also flew to the scene to take the four men and the Border Patrol agents back to a patrol station for processing.

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