The SAR crew of five left Whidbey Island at about 5 a.m. and headed to the Lopez Island Airport to pick up a 70-year-old man suffering from critical respiratory issues. He was taken to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham.
The crew then proceeded to the airport on Orcas Island to pick up a 90-year-old woman with a possible thoracic aortic aneurysm. She was also taken to the hospital in Bellingham for transfer.
“It was a group effort today that allowed us to help two people from the local community who really needed it,” said SAR Rescue Swimmer Naval Aiarecrewman 2nd Class Cory Hedges. “It’s always a rewarding night when our training pays off in such a tangible way.”
With wind gusts of up to 30 miles per hour and heavy rain, conditions for both flights were challenging.
So far this year, NAS Whidbey Island SAR has ltaunched on 35 medical evacuation missions, resulting in 28 people delivered to hospitals for further care.