Whidbey SAR rescues Olympic hiker

A Search and Rescue team rescued a 68-year-old male hiker in the Olympic National Park.

A Search and Rescue team from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island rescued a 68-year-old male hiker suffering from a medical condition in the Olympic National Park Wednesday, Aug. 31.

The Search and Rescue, or SAR, crew was called at just before 6 p.m. Wednesday evening to rescue the hiker several miles up the Enchanted Valley Trail in the Olympic National Park. The SAR crew lifted off at approximately 6:25 p.m. and, working in coordination with National Park Rangers, they found the patient and a park ranger in the valley as soon as they arrived on site at about 6:50 p.m.

Within 10 minutes the SAR crew had the patient onboard and delivered him to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles by 7:20 p.m.

NAS Whidbey Island SAR has conducted 25 missions this calendar year, which includes eight MEDEVACs, 14 rescues, and three searches.

The Navy SAR unit operates three MH-60S helicopters from NAS Whidbey Island as search and rescue/medical evacuation, or SAR/MEDEVAC, platforms for the EA-18G aircraft as well as other squadrons and personnel assigned to the installation. Pursuant to the National SAR Plan of the United States, the unit may also be used for civil SAR/MEDEVAC needs to the fullest extent practicable on a non-interference basis with primary military duties according to applicable national directives, plans, guidelines and agreements; specifically, the unit may launch in response to tasking by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (based on a Washington State Memorandum of Understanding) for inland missions, and/or tasking by the United States Coast Guard for all other aeronautical and maritime regions, when other assets are unavailable.