NAS Whidbey Island’s SAR Team Rescues Orcas Island Resident

NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – NAS Whidbey Island’s Search and Rescue (SAR) responded to an emergency call from the San Juan Dispatch Center at Orcas Island to evacuate a 65-year-old woman who suffered head and neck injuries after a fall on Feb. 14.

Airlift Northwest, a civilian medical transport service that provides services to Puget Bay area was already engaged in the medical airlift of another Orcas Island resident and unable to airlift the 65-year-old victim. The San Juan Dispatch Center contacted NAS Whidbey Island’s Operations Duty Office for assistance.

Upon notification, the airfield’s Operations Department coordinated with the Armed Forces Rescue Coordination Center and dispatched one of its SAR helicopters to Orcas, who transported the injured woman to St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Wash.

“The weather was a challenge for the mission, but the crew worked together and we were able to safely pick the patient up from Eastsound Airport and transfer her to St. Joseph’s hospital,” said Lt. Maggie Champlin.

Flying the MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter were Lt. Maggie Champlin, helicopter aircraft commander;  Lt. Cmdr. Douglas Lof, co-pilot; Naval Aircrewman Helicopter 2nd Class Gabriel Rodriguez, crew chief; Naval Aircrewman Helicopter 2nd Class Jonathan Hampton;  second crewman; and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Alexander Nguyen.


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