NAS Whidbey Island, WA – A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island transported a patient from Forks, WA, to a Higher level of care in Seattle, Washington in the early morning hours of August 1st, 2018.
According to a press memo from Thomas Mills, Public Affairs Specialist with NAS Whidbey Island, the SAR team was called to transport a critically ill patient from Forks Community Hospital to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Low clouds and low visibility had grounded available civilian helicopters. The SAR crew landed in Forks around 2 a.m. and had the patient delivered to Harborview about an hour later.
NAS Whidbey Island SAR teams has conducted 31 total missions throughout Washington State this year, including 21 rescues, seven searches and three 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.