Navy team rescues snowboarder injured in Olympic Mountains

NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND — A search-and-rescue team with Naval Air Station Whidbey Island extricated an injured snowboarder from the Silver Lake area in the Olympic Mountains despite heavy clouds.

The Monday rescue began at 6:30 p.m. when the team launched to rescue the man, who had suffered a broken leg.

When team members arrived above the clouds at 8,000 feet, they found it was impossible to reach the patient’s location, which was above 5,000 feet, the Navy said.

The team returned to NAS Whidbey Island while maintaining contact with a ground team that was trying to reach the injured snowboarder. By about 8:40 p.m., the team on the ground called the SAR team to report the skies were clearing. It launched to attempt another rescue, but again found the area too cloudy to land safely, the Navy said.

After loitering in the area for about 35 minutes, the clouds eventually parted enough for the SAR team to land and extract the patient.

The SAR team delivered the patient to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle at about 10:15 p.m.

The search-and-rescue team also rescued a skier injured in a fall in the Cascade Mountains over Memorial Day weekend.

The SAR team hoisted the injured man and an uninjured companion from a steep location at about 6,500 feet at 1 p.m. Sunday, the Navy said. They were taken to Harborview Medical Center.

No further information about the injured people was released.

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island SAR has conducted 17 total missions throughout the state this year, including three searches, six rescues and eight medical evacuations.

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