NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – Search and Rescue (SAR) teams from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted a Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) from Whidbey Island Saturday, October 20, and also rescued a fallen hiker near Sauk Mountain, Wash., Sunday, October 21, 2018.
The weekend began with a SAR team taking a 73-year-old head trauma patient from NAS Whidbey Island to Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Saturday morning. The patient, originally from Whidbey General Hospital, was transported to NAS Whidbey Island because of heavy fog, which kept the SAR team from landing at Whidbey General. The patient was delivered to Harborview Medical Center by approximately 11:10 a.m. Saturday.
On Sunday afternoon a SAR team was called in to rescue a hiker who had fallen and broken her ankle near Sauk Mountain. The injured hiker was with a group of Boy Scouts, who assisted SAR crew members in treating her injuries and preparing her for flight. She was hoisted aboard the SAR helicopter and taken to Skagit Valley Hospital, arriving at approximately 3:30 p.m.
NAS Whidbey Island SAR has conducted 60 total missions throughout Washington State this year, including 42 rescues, eight searches and 10 medical evacuations.
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.