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NAS Whidbey Island SAR Rescues Climber on Mt. Stuart

11 August 2023

From Welding

A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island hoisted a climber off a cliff on Mt. Stuart the night of August 10, 2023. The NAS Whidbey Island SAR team launched before 10 p.m. last night to respond to a climber suffering from chest pains on a cliff ledge at an elevation of 8,400 feet on Mt. Stuart. The SAR crew was able to
A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island hoisted a climber off a cliff on Mt. Stuart the night of August 10, 2023.
 
The NAS Whidbey Island SAR team launched before 10 p.m. last night to respond to a climber suffering from chest pains on a cliff ledge at an elevation of 8,400 feet on Mt. Stuart. The SAR crew was able to contact the ailing climber and his friend and ask them to turn on strobe lights to aid in finding them once the helicopter was on station.
 
When the SAR crew arrived on scene at about 10 p.m. they saw the strobe light and found the climbing team on a small ledge among small spires running along a steep spine on the north face. The SAR team were able to hoist the patient aboard and deliver him to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where they landed just before 11 p.m.
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island SAR has conducted 25 missions this calendar year, which includes 1 MEDEVAC, 4 searches and 20 rescues.
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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