SAR helps rescue crash survivor

A search and rescue team from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island helped rescue the survivor of a plane crash in the Olympic Mountains Saturday, the Navy reported.

A small passenger airplane crash in the Buck Mountain area near Quilcene killed one person and injured another Friday, according to the Peninsula Daily News.

The Navy team launched in the MH-60S helicopter and arrived in the search area near Quilcene just after 1 a.m. Saturday.

After coordinating with the Jefferson County command post for Washington Air Search and Rescue, the crew proceeded to the crash site area. The survivor guided the Navy crew to the crash site, but the thick, dense foliage, cloud cover and lack of available light made conditions extremely challenging.

After about an hour search, crew members had to reassess the situation and determined they needed to resume searching once daylight broke.

The SAR crew relaunched shortly after 5 a.m. and rendezvoused with an Olympic Mountain Rescue team, which had to physically move the lone survivor to an accessible area for rescue, according to a Navy press release.

The SAR crew was able to lift the injured man aboard the helicopter at about 7 a.m. and flew him directly to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Lt. Kellen Odom, the SAR mission commander, said the mission was extremely challenging.

“We had to fight the time of day, the environment, fatigue, dense foliage, and numerous other elements that made it difficult to locate the survivor,” he said in a press release.

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