Submitted by Naval Air Station Whidbey Island
A search and rescue team from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island conducted two life-saving missions on Jan. 9.
The first mission involved a morning medical evacuation from Orcas Island for a 62-year-old woman who had fallen off a ladder. The crew coordinated with local emergency response personnel who arranged pick up for the patient at the island ferry terminal. After checking weather conditions with hospitals in the local area the crew decided to fly the patient to Paine Field for transit to a local hospital.
Later that afternoon the crew received another alert for a 28-year-old man suffering from a potentially broken femur and dislocated hip. The young man was involved in a snowmobile accident on Darland Mountain at an elevation of 7,000 ft. Darland Mountain is located approximately 30 nautical miles southeast of Mt. Rainer. A Yakima County Paramedic crew had already arrived at the site and prepared the patient on a litter, which enabled a quick turnover. SAR flew the injured man to Harborview Medical Center.
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island SAR has conducted three total missions throughout Washington State this year, including one rescue, and two medical evacuations this year. Both medical missions so far this year were from Orcas Island.