NAS Whidbey SAR Conducts Two MEDEVACs from Olympic Peninsula

by WhidbeyLocal 12th February 2019

NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. - During the on-going winter stormshitting the Western Washington area, Search and Rescue (SAR) teams from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted two Medical Evacuations (MEDEVACs) on the Olympic Peninsula February 9 and 11, 2019. 


The first MEDEVAC occurred the afternoon of Saturday, February 9 from Neah Bay for an 84- year-old woman who fell and suffered serious injuries. The Navy crew picked the patient up at the Coast Guard station at Neah Bay and transferred the patient to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles.


The second MEDEVAC occurred Monday afternoon, February 11, for an 85-year-old man from Sequim whose roof had collapsed from the weight of accumulated snow on his residence. This MEDEVAC was more difficult than the weekend evacuation due to poor visibility and the accumulation of snow in the area. After the crew arrived overhead at the scene, they had to reposition the aircraft as close to the ambulance as possible while maintaining safety.  Once on the ground, the crew had to clear a paththrough the snow and carry the patient's gurney over the remaining snow to the helicopter for the flight to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.


Lt. Andrew Schnur, the copilot on the second MEDEVAC, said the reduced ceilings and visibility, combined with the knowledge that more snow was on the way, made this a challenging mission. In order to avoid obstacles, the crew flew over water to maintain visibility with the shoreline. "This mission may not have been possible if we had been required to stay overland," he said.


NAS Whidbey Island SAR has conducted five total missions throughout Washington State this year, including one search and four 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, theunit may also be used for civil SAR/MEDEVAC needs to the fullest extent practicable on a non-interference basis with primary military dutiesaccording 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 otherassets are unavailable.

Posted by WhidbeyLocal
Tuesday 12th, February 2019 05:18pm.

Popular Articles

Upcoming Events

4th Of July Picnic

The Ladies Auxiliary and Post members wants to have a 4th of July mini fundraiser picnic to raise money for the roof...
4 Jul
View More

You also might be interested in

Welcome to Whidbey Island! Our beautiful island is surrounded by the grandeur of emerald green forests and the expansive waters of Puget Sound. It’s the perfect place to take a tour around the island on a power or sail boat, or even paddle a kayak. You might just catch the wondrous sight of whales frolicking, or eagles soaring!

Things to do

I’ve always loved to fly. I grew up in a family of pilots – my dad was a bush pilot in Alaska and his brother, my uncle Don, retired as a 747 pilot. They built kit planes growing up, and I inherited that same fascination with flying.

Whidbey Buzz

The Orchard Kitchen, which opened this past July, is the culmination of a vision that owners Vincent and Tyla Nattress created years ago when they were living in Napa Valley, California. They made a “Vision Board” that was a picture of how they wanted to live and how they wanted to make a living. The first need was to find a place in a beautiful setting with affordable land where they would have a farm to grow the crops for a unique farm-to-table experience.

Business Spotlight

By Carolyn Tamler Before Kim Tiller and her son, David, opened Whidbey Soap Company (now Whidbey Island Natural), both had been successful software developers.

Business Spotlight

The South Whidbey Commons on 2nd Street in Langley offers delicious Mukilteo Coffee, homemade soups, and a warm and cozy atmosphere for enjoying the community-supported bookstore.  The “Commons” is also a non-profit organization, teaching young Islanders the skills needed to get their first job in specialty coffee, a global Industry with Pacific Northwest roots.

Business Spotlight