A search and rescue team of five from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island conducted a medical evacuation (medevac) from Lopez Island Airport on Sunday, June 18, to Island Hospital in Anacortes.
The SAR alert crew received an urgent call for help from the Lopez Island medical clinic for a 53-year-old female patient with a dislocated hip. After a short delay due to poor weather conditions, the crew departed and flew directly to Lopez Island’s airport where they were met by an ambulance and the patient. They took off 20 minutes later and proceeded directly to the hospital.
This was the 14th medevac of 2017 for NAS Whidbey Island SAR, which has also conducted four searches and 13 rescue missions delivering 30 lives to a higher level of care.
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.