NAS Whidbey Island SAR Medically Evacuates Lopez Island Resident
NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted a Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, from the San Juan Islands.
The SAR crew of six took off around 11:00 in the morning amidst patchy fog, low clouds, and heavy rain. They transited to the helicopter pad at the Lopez Island Hospital to pick up a 67-year-old male suffering from acute kidney failure and then flew the patient to the Skagit Valley Hospital in Mt. Vernon, Wash.
“The entire SAR team did a great job of coming together to get this helicopter off-deck as quickly as possible today,” said SAR Rescue Swimmer Naval Aircrewman First Class Joshua Vest. “Despite some challenging weather, we were able to get this patient the help he needed.”
This was the second MEDEVAC of 2016 for NAS Whidbey Island SAR, which has also conducted two rescue operations this year. In 2015 the unit conducted 19 Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions, 11 searches and seven rescues, resulting in 29 lives delivered to higher level care.
The Navy SAR unit operates three MH-60S helicopters from NAS Whidbey Island as search and rescue platforms for the EA-18G aircraft as well as other squadrons and personnel assigned to the installation. The base also has an agreement to assist Washington State with medical evacuations and search and rescue activities.