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Whidbey SAR Rescues Skier Near Snoqualmie Pass May 15

NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island rescued an injured skier near Snoqualmi Mountain in the afternoon on May 15, 2021.

The SAR crew launched at from NAS Whidbey Island at about 2:40 p.m. after receiving a request to rescue a 64-year-old skier who had fallen 30 feet and had a possible head injury.

Once the SAR crew arrived at the location at about 3:15 p.m. they located the survivor with two members of the Snoqualmie Mountain Rescue at about the 4,600 foot elevation. While the SAR helicopter hovered over the scene, two SAR crew rappelled down to assess and prepare the injured skier for transport. The SMR members, who have trained with NAS Whidbey Island SAR in the past and were prepared for this type of mission, dug out a platform in the snow for the rappelling SAR crew.

By approximately 3:55 p.m. the injured skier was hoisted aboard the SAR helicopter and transported to Harbor View Hospital in Seattle.

This is the eighth mission NAS Whidbey Island SAR has conducted this calendar year, which includes two MEDEVACs, five rescues, and a search.

The Navy SAR unit operates three MH-60S helicopters from NAS Whidbey Island as search and rescue/medical evacuation (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.


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