Whidbey Island Naval Air Station’s Search and Rescue unit responded to a rescue call from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Aug. 28 after a 19-year-old woman injured her back while hiking with a group in the Olympic Mountains.
The MH-60S Knighthawk Helicopter Aircraft Commander said a tree had fallen on the young woman near Lena Lake, south of Brothers Mountain. Her potential spine injuries necessitated an emergency airlift, according to Lt. Cmdr. Shane Jones.
“She was located up around the 1,800 foot level,” said Jones, who brought the helicopter down to a clear zone 200 yards from the woman and dropped off Naval Aircrewmen Helicopter 2nd Class (AWS2) Timothy Hawk and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Brent McIntyre to assist getting the injured hiker aboard the aircraft.
A civilian ground rescue crew had already been on scene and had placed a cervical collar on the injured woman’s neck and placed her on a back board.
After transporting the hiker to the edge of Lena Lake, they hoisted her aboard the SAR helicopter for transport to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
The aircrew, also included SAR co-pilot Lt. Cmdr. David Waner and AWS2 David Scott.