The Tucson Samaritans will commemorate their 11th anniversary today with the Flood the Desert annual event, when 15 vehicles will go into the desert looking for illegal immigrants in distress.

"We go out there to assist people who are dying from thirst, ill or lost," said Kathryn Ferguson, a Samaritans volunteer.

Volunteers go out every day of the year and take water, food and medicine to aid illegal border crossers in the desert.

The Samaritans also have doctors and nurses who go on the trips or are on call, Ferguson said.

Lately, she said, volunteers have encountered many crossers between Nogales and Lukeville, and many are in terrible condition.

The main objective, she said, is to save lives.

The group covers about 2,000 miles of trails and has records from the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office about travel areas where the most deaths occur.

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