NAS Whidbey team rescues woman at park

A woman was rescued from the shoreline at South Whidbey State Park after she fell down a stairway.

A woman was rescued from the shoreline at South Whidbey State Park Sunday after she took a bad fall down a stairway.

Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue, WhidbeyHealth EMS and a Search and Rescue team from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island all responded to the call at the Smugglers Cove Road address, which came in shortly after 4:30 p.m. on the Fourth of July.

Fire Chief Ed Hartin said the woman, who is in her 40s, was hiking with her family and either slipped or tripped down a stairway built into the bluff.

While he was not certain at which point she fell down the stairs, Hartin did estimate the distance of the stairway to be about 100 feet from top to bottom.

“It’s pretty rough terrain,” he said of the area.

The woman was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for a possible head injury.

Because of the tides, Hartin said there was limited access to the beach. A boat was unable to dock, and by land the journey would have been long and steep.

A Navy Search and Rescue team was able to lower a stretcher down from a helicopter, secure the woman to it and hoist her through the air into the chopper.

Hartin recommended that hikers wear appropriate footwear when navigating South Whidbey State Park. They should also be aware of their surroundings.

“It’s a long way down,” he said.

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