Submitted by Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.
A search and rescue team from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island conducted a medical evacuation from Orcas the morning of Jan. 14.
The SAR crew responded to a call just after 10 a.m. to transport a 42-year-old male who had slipped on the ice and suffered an extreme ankle injury where he could potentially lose his foot. SAR picked him up on island and transported him to St. Joseph’s hospital in Bellingham just before 1 p.m.
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island SAR has conducted five total missions throughout Washington state this year, including one search and four medical evacuations this year.
The Navy SAR unit operates three MH-60S helicopters from NAS Whidbey Island as search and rescue/medical evacuation 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.