A Search and Rescue team from NAS Whidbey Island’s SAR unit medically evacuated an 89-year-old woman from Clallam County Beach near Ozette on the western coast of Washington last night. The woman was reportedly suffering from exhaustion and hip leg pain that prevented her from being able to stand or walk. She was accompanied by her grandson who made the initial call for help.
Initially, the SAR unit was unable to get to the victim’s location along the northern coast due to low clouds and heavy rain near Neah Bay. The crew then flew to Sanderson Field in Shelton, Wash., where they refueled. After refueling they traveled along the southern edge of the Olympics and were able to fly the 110 nautical miles to the victim and her grandson’s location. After quickly locating the elderly woman and her grandson they hoisted them aboard the aircraft and flew them to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles.
The MEDEVAC from Clallam County Beach was the first of two last night. A second SAR crew left for an evacuation of an 84-year-old man from the Pasayten Wilderness in Okanagan County who was reportedly suffering from a loss of equilibrium.
The Navy SAR unit operates three MH-60S helicopters from NAS Whidbey Island as search and rescue platforms for the EA-18G aircraft as well as other squadrons and personnel assigned to the installation. The base also has an agreement to assist Washington State with medical evacuations and search and rescue activities.
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