Submitted by Naval Air Station Whidbey Island
A Search and Rescue team from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island transported a 65-year-old woman suffering from severe pain from Lopez Island on Sunday, Oct. 18.
The SAR crew got the call for the medical evacuation after 1 p.m. The crew landed at Lopez Island Airport after 2 p.m. and transferred the patient onto the helicopter. The original plan was to take the patient to St. Joseph’s in Bellingham but, because of weather conditions, they took her to Skagit Medical Center where they transferred her to higher care.
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island SAR has conducted 48 total missions throughout Washington State this year, including 35 rescues, four searches and nine medical evacuations.
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.