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NAS Whidbey Island SAR conducts a Medical Evacuation for Lopez Resident

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11/21/17 12:00 AM

A Search and Rescue (SAR) team of six from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) from Lopez Island Airport on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, to Paine Field in Everett, Wash.

The SAR team received notification that a 75-year-old male was having cardiac issues on Lopez Island at about noon. No other agencies were able to respond due to poor weather conditions at surrounding airfields. The crew departed and flew directly to Lopez Island’s airport where they were met by an ambulance and the patient. After patient turnover the air crew proceeded directly to Paine Field in Everett where the patient was transferred to an Advance Cardiac Life Support unit for transport to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett.

This was the 18th MEDEVAC of 2017 for NAS Whidbey Island SAR, which has also conducted seven searches and 36 rescues, delivering 68 lives to a higher level of care.


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.