A Search and Rescue (SAR) team of five from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) from Lopez Island Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, to Skagit Valley Hospital in Mt. Vernon, Wash.
The SAR team received notification at approximately 4:00 a.m. that a 74-year-old male was having abdominal problems on Lopez Island. No other agencies were able to respond due to poor weather conditions at surrounding airfields, and after a review of the weather the crew departed and flew directly to Lopez Island’s airport where they were met by an ambulance and the patient. Once the patient turnover was complete the air crew proceeded directly to Skagit Valley Hospital in Mt. Vernon where the patient was transferred to a higher level of care.
This was the 19th MEDEVAC of 2017 for NAS Whidbey Island SAR, which has also conducted seven searches and 36 rescues, delivering 69 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.