NAS Whidbey Island, WA – A Search and Rescue (SAR) Team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island rescued a hiker who had suffered injuries after a fall on Mount Stuart on Thursday, September 20th, 2018.
According to a press memo from Thomas Mills, Public Affairs Specialist from NAS Whidbey Island, the hiker had fallen approximately 90 feet at an elevation of 6,500 feet on the Western side of Mount Stuart. The injured hiker had suffered broken bones, lacerations and initial loss of consciousness.
SAR Teams hoisted the injured hiker aboard the SAR helicopter and flew him to Pangborn Memorial Airport in East Wenatchee, where he was transferred to a waiting ambulance for transport to a higher level of care.
NAS Whidbey Island SAR has conducted 52 total missions throughout Washington State this year, including 38 rescues, eight searches and six medical evacuations, delivering 61 people to a higher level of care. This was the fifth rescue on Mount Stuart of the year.
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.