Helicopter Footage Captures Harrowing Rescue Attempt Hundreds of Feet Above Michael Devastation


A video showing members of the Customs and Border Protection agency rescuing Florida residents affected by Hurricane Michael is going viral — as well as attracting the attention of members of the “abolish ICE” squad.

The video shows members rappelling down into the aftermath of the Category 4 storm which swept across the Southern United States this week.

The footage from Panama City, Florida, first shows a CBP member being lowered into the devastated city.

A stretcher is then shown being lowered into the wreckage.

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In the last part of the video, the CBP officer is shown bringing one of the victims of the hurricane up into the helicopter.

Of course, the fact that this rescue involved Customs and Border Protection made it a natural target for liberals on Twitter:

Do you think that Customs and Border Protection is doing a good job helping victims of Hurricane Michael?

In a media release on their website, CBP described the aid it was giving those in the storm’s path.

“Category 4 Hurricane Michael with its winds near 155 mph — just two mph short of it being the strongest Category 5 hurricane — made landfall in the Florida panhandle and tracked through Georgia and the Carolinas, less than a month after Hurricane Florence came through much of the same, waterlogged area with devastating winds, rain and floodwaters,” the Friday news release read.

“Much like the response to Florence, CBP is working to help local, state and federal officials with damage from the storm.

“In Panama City, Florida, and to the east, there’s real devastation. It’s a very, very bad situation,”  Ed Alvarez, CBP’s emergency operations center manager for Florida, said.

“We stand ready to assist our law enforcement partners, our stakeholders and the community.”

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“CBP helicopter crewmembers are doing search and rescue missions, in one instance rescuing two adults from an area where ground vehicles could not get through near Panama City Thursday,” the statement continued.

“More search and rescues are possible as aircrews continue to work in the devastated area. In addition, CBP airplanes are helping manage air traffic and doing damage assessments. Originally staged out of Jacksonville, Florida, and Hammond, Louisiana, the assets moved to forward operating bases after the storm passed.”

“In my experience, this is one of the fastest moving storms CBP has responded to,” said Dario Lugo, the operations chief overseeing the response out of Washington.

“We need to be prepared as a nation and as individuals for catastrophic events that strike with little or no warning, and the only way we can do that is by preparing in advance. CBP stays connected with our FEMA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration partners, staying vigilant and in a position to communicate with our internal CBP and external partners to fully understand the impact of an event such as this.”

Apparently, though, CBP is enough of a problem that people are willing to take shots at the rescue effort. I know who probably isn’t going to do that: the people who were rescued.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture


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