A search and rescue team from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington, helped rescue a hiker suffering from a broken ankle on the southern rim of Mount St. Helens last week.
The Mount St. Helen’s Volcano Rescue Team contacted the search and rescue team late on July 26 asking for aerial transport to help recover the 63-year-old hiker, who was at an altitude of more than 7,500 feet. The search and rescue team arrived on scene just after 1 a.m. on July 27.
“After making a visual inspection of the area to determine the best course of action, the crew conducted a one-wheel landing on a mountain-side shoulder to insert two SAR team members with a litter,” the Navy said in a statement.
“While the SAR rescue team worked to secure the injured hiker, the SAR aviators conducted another in-flight visual inspection to scope out the landing area where an ambulance was waiting to transport the patient,” the statement said.
The team then hoisted the hiker from the mountain and transported the individual to the ambulance crew less than an hour after arriving on the scene.
The operation is one of 23 missions the search and rescue team from Whidbey Island has executed this year — including one medical evacuation, four searches and 18 rescues.
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island’s search and rescue team operates three MH-60S helicopters.