NAS Whidbey SAR Rescues Hiker Near Ross Lake

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NAS Whidbey Island, WA. – A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island rescued an injured hiker near Slate Peak, east of Ross Lake, Washington on  Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

The SAR crew was called in to find the female hiker who had suffered an injured leg and couldn’t walk. After arriving on the scene a search was conducted and the hiker was found, having formed an X pattern with her trekking poles. The SAR crew successfully hoisted the hiker onboard their  helicopter and transported her to Peace Health St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Wash.

NAS Whidbey Island SAR, has conducted 29 total missions throughout Washington State this year, including 21 rescues, six searches and two 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.

Information Written and Provided by: Thomas Mills
Public Affairs Specialist, NAS Whidbey Island

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