No word on the status of an injured hiker who was airlifted Saturday out of the Upper Eagle Lake area in the Okanogan/Wenatchee National Forest.
The Okanogan County Sheriff's Office reports they got word Saturday afternoon that there was an injured 72-year-old male that had suffered a traumatic head injury about 8 miles from the Crater Creek Trailhead.
The information had been received by the In Reach Emergency Communications Center in Montgomery Texas. A hiker who was with the injured man had an InReach device with him and made the SOS call out to report the incident.
The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Coordinator initiated rescue strategy, which included requesting air resources. Because of the distance from the trailhead and the severity of the injury, it was determined that the man would need to be airlifted from his location.
The Search and Rescue Coordinator made the request for air resources through the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center on the east coast. That's the entity who approves and requests governmental resources for rescue missions. The coordinator got word that Naval Air Station Whidbey Island would be sent to assist in the rescue. The coordinator was then able to establish communications with both the injured party through InReach and the Navy Helicopter through both radio communications and cell phone.
The Navy Helicopter arrived in the area of the rescue about 4:20 pm and was able to lower medical personnel to the injured party. Shortly after 5 pm Saturday, the Navy Helicopter advised that they had the injured person on board and was in route to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
As of yesterday, there was no word on the man's status.