A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island rescued an injured skier on the slopes of Mount Baker, May 13, 2019.
The SAR team responded to a call at approximately 2:15 p.m. of a 21-year-old male skier who broken his ankle near “Roman Wall” on the western side of Mount Baker at approximately 10,000 feet.
When the SAR helicopter arrived on scene they immediately spotted several skiers pointing out the injured skier. The injured skier was hoisted onboard the SAR helicopter and transported to Peace Health St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Wash. by approximately 4 p.m.
NAS Whidbey Island SAR has conducted fifteen total missions throughout Washington State this year, including four searches, four rescues and seven 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.