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NAS Whidbey Island’s SAR Unit conducts 2 MEDEVACs in San Juan Islands

NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted two Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions from the San Juan Island January 22 and 24, 2022.

The mission on Saturday, January 22, involved a 66 year-old man from Friday Harbor who was suffering from a heart attack. SAR transported the man to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham shortly around 5:30 a.m.

On Monday, January 24 NAS Whidbey Island’s SAR team received another early morning alert for 39-year-old woman experiencing continuous postpartum hemorrhaging on Lopez Island. The crew transported her to Island Hospital in Anacortes about 4:15 that morning.

NAS Whidbey Island’s SAR unit has conducted five missions this calendar year, with all five being MEDEVACs.

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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