A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island rescued a female hiker with a broken wrist near Goat Mountain West in the Cascade Mountains, August 16, 2018.
The SAR crew responded to a call near Goat Mountain, Northeast of Mount Baker, to rescue an elderly woman who had sustained injuries from falling causing severe pain and shock, making it impossible for her to continue down the trail. The hiker was quickly found in an open field near the summit. SAR crew members rappelled to her location for a medical assessment and eventual hoist into the aircraft. She was then taken to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Wash.
NAS Whidbey Island SAR, has conducted 43 total missions throughout Washington State this year, including 31 rescues, eight 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.