NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. - A Search and Rescue (SAR) team of five from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) from the slopes of Mount Baker to the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, Mar. 3, 2018.
The SAR crew was notified of an injured snowmobiler on Mount Baker at an elevation of approximately 5,500 feet. The SAR aircraft took off at about 1 p.m. and was on the deck near the site approximately 20 minutes later. The patient was then transferred onto the aircraft after a brief assessment by a SAR hospital corpsman. The crew took off at about 1:35 p.m. and delivered the patient to the Harborview Medical Center half an hour later where the patient was turned over to a higher level of care.
This was the first rescue of 2018 for NAS Whidbey Island SAR, which has also conducted two searches.
The Navy SAR unit operates three MH-60S helicopters from NAS Whidbey Island as search and rescue/medical evacuation (SAR/MEDEVAC) platforms for the EA-18G aircraft as well as other squadrons and personnel assigned to the installation. Pursuant to the National SAR Plan of the United States, the unit may also be used for civil SAR/MEDEVAC needs to the fullest extent practicable on a non-interference basis with primary military duties according to applicable national directives, plans, guidelines and agreements; specifically, the unit may launch in response to tasking by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (based on a Washington State Memorandum of Understanding) for inland missions, and/or tasking by the United States Coast Guard for all other aeronautical and maritime regions, when other assets are unavailable.