NAS Whidbey Island’s SAR unit’s first missions of 2022

(NAS WHIDBEY ISLAND)- A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted its first two missions for this calendar year this week, as well as two other mission late last week.

Both 2022 missions were Medical Evacuations (MEDEVACs), one from Coupeville on January 5 for a six-year old boy suffering from pneumonia, the other from Lopez Island the day prior for a 73- year old woman suffering cardiac complications.

The NAS Whidbey Island SAR team received notification for assistance for the child in Coupeville while on a training mission just before 2:30 p.m. After refueling they proceeded directly to Whidbey General Hospital in Coupeville, then flew the boy to Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle.

For the Lopez Island request, NAS Whidbey Island received an alert Monday afternoon and was able to transport the patient from Lopez Airfield to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Bellingham at approximately 3:30 p.m.

NAS Whidbey Island’s SAR unit closed out 2021 with another MEDEVAC from Coupeville to Swedish Medical Center in Seattle for a 72-year-old man who suffered a severe stroke on January 30, 2021. The day prior, a SAR team rescued a man who suffered a broken leg in the Cascades, approximately 15 miles north of Berdeen Lake, and flew him to St. Joseph’s Medical Center.

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island SAR conducted 54 missions in 2021, which includes 14 MEDEVACs, 35 rescues, and five searches.