A search and rescue team from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington, recovered a stranded hunter experiencing fatigue and severe hydration Sept. 18.
The hunter, who’d been in danger since the previous day, was stuck on a cliff face near Mount Constance in the Olympic National Forest, west of Seattle, when the Whidbey Island search and rescue team received an alert about the situation.
Although a ground rescue team from Jefferson County Search and Rescue unit had already attempted to save the hunter, the difficult terrain prevented them from reaching him.
The Navy’s search and rescue team found the hunter on a small ledge that was “precariously close to 70 ft. drop to another cliff outcropping,” and an MH-60S helicopter let down a rescue airman on a hoist to help retrieve the hunter to safety, according to the service.
“The SAR pilot was able to get the rescue crewman into position next to the stranded hunter while it hovered about 80 ft. above ground,” the Navy said in a news release. “After placing a rescue strop around the man, they were able to hoist him aboard the helicopter where they began treating him for dehydration and fatigue.”
The hunter was ultimately taken to Olympic Medical Center for additional treatment.
The mission is one of 30 the search and rescue team from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island has conducted this year. That includes nine medical evacuations, 16 rescues, and five searches.