NAS Whidbey SAR rescues injured an climber in the Cascade Mountains
(NAS WHIDBEY ISLAND)- A Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island rescued a 39-year-old man near Washington Pass in the early evening of Friday, September 6.
The climber had suffered a possible pelvis fracture and loss of consciousness after a fall at an elevation of approximately 6,500 feet. Washington Pass is north of Lake Chelan and west of Winthrop, Wash., in the Cascade Mountains.
The SAR crew located the climber against a 500-foot vertical rock face, which gave way to a steep field of loose rock. The SAR crew inserted two crewmembers via rappel about 300 feet below the injured climber. While the SAR helicopter returned to NAS Whidbey Island to refuel, the two crewmembers climbed to the patient, prepped him for transport, and moved him back down to their original insert point.
After returning from refuel the SAR crew hoisted the injured climber and two crewmembers aboard the helicopter for transport to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island SAR has conducted 31 total missions throughout Washington State this year, including nine searches, twelve rescues and ten medical evacuations.