Whidbey SAR Rescues Injured Skier in Cascade Mountains

12 July 2022

From NASWI PAO

A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island rescued an injured skier near Sahale Mountain in the Cascade Mountain Range on Saturday, July 9, 2022.
A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island rescued an injured skier near Sahale Mountain in the Cascade Mountain Range on Saturday, July 9, 2022.
 
The NAS Whidbey Island SAR duty crew received an alert Saturday night just after 9 p.m. to rescue a 35-year-old male who suffered severe torso injures from a skiing accident near at the Cascade Pass at 5700’.  After making appropriate preparation for the high elevation rescue, the crew was airborne within an hour.
 
The SAR crew coordinated with the Chelan County Sheriff’s office on mission details and local weather conditions while in transit. The crew was able to locate the injured man shortly after 10:30 p.m.  The team departed the area after 11 p.m. and delivered the severely injured patient to Harborview around 11:40 that night.
 
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island SAR has conducted 16 missions this calendar year, which includes eight MEDEVACs, seven rescues, and one 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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