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Navy helicopter crew rescues injured hiker
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island’s Search and Rescue unit airlifted a 19-year-old woman to safety near Lena Lake in Olympic National Park Wednesday.
The Navy team responded to a rescue call, Aug. 28, from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office for a woman who reportedly injured her back while hiking with a group in the park.
According to Lt. Cmdr. Shane Jones, the MH-60S Knighthawk Helicopter aircraft commander, a tree had fallen on the young woman near Lena Lake, south of Brothers Mountain.
Her potential spine injuries necessitated an emergency airlift.
“She was located up around the 1,800-foot level,” said Jones, who brought the helicopter down to a clear zone 200 yards from the woman.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Timothy Hawk and Petty Officer 2nd Class Brent McIntyre exited the aircraft to assist the injured hiker aboard the helicopter.
A civilian ground rescue crew that was already on scene had placed a cervical collar around the injured woman’s neck. They also secured her onto a back board.
After transporting the woman to the edge of Lena Lake, she was hoisted aboard the helicopter for transport to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
The Navy aircrew also included Lt. Cmdr. David Waner, co-pilot, and Petty Officer 2nd Class David Scott.