NAS Whidbey Island, WA – A Search and Rescue (SAR) Team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island rescued an injured hunter around 1:30 p.m. near Spirit Lake at Mt. St. Helens on Saturday, September 15th, 2018.
According to a press release from Michael Welding, Public Affairs Officer for NAS Whidbey Island, NAS Whidbey Island SAR units responded for a hunter who fell approximately 60 feet and was suffering from Head, neck and back injuries, as well as a femur fracture. The hunter was found by SAR members at the bottom of a 60-foot rock face. The SAR Team hoisted the patient on board and transported him to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon around 3:30 p.m.
NAS Whidbey Island SAR has conducted 50 total missions throughout Washington State this year, including 37 rescues, eight searches and five 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.