NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted a Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) from Whidbey Island in the early morning hours of Thursday, November 8.
The SAR team received a request to transport the 91-year-old male patient, a victim of a stroke, from Whidbey General Hospital to Swedish Hospital at Cherry Hill. Because of weather concerns the patient was initially transported by ambulance to NAS Whidbey Island from Whidbey General Hospital where he was transferred onto the SAR helicopter.
By approximately 2:15 a.m. the SAR helicopter lifted off, heading toward Seattle. Because of fog in Seattle the SAR crew redirected to Boeing Field, where they transferred the patient to an ambulance for transport to higher care.
NAS Whidbey Island SAR has conducted 63 total missions throughout Washington State this year, including 43 rescues, eight searches and 12 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.