A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island rescued an injured climber on Forbidden Peak August 2, 2018.
The SAR team arrived on the scene at approximately 7,500 feet elevation on Forbidden Peak in the Cascade Mountains before noon yesterday. Two SAR crew members were lowered down to the climber, who was wedged between a cliff and a sheet of ice, and suffering multiple broken bones and a spinal injury. Because of his trapped situation and the extent of his injuries, the two crewmembers stayed on scene to prepare the climber for a hoist while the SAR helicopter returned to NAS Whidbey Island to refuel.
When the SAR crew returned they hoisted the injured climber onboard the helicopter and delivered him to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle at approximately 3:30 p.m.
NAS Whidbey Island SAR, has conducted 33 total missions throughout Washington State this year, including 22 rescues, seven searches and four 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.