Coast Guard aircrew assists injured hiker near La Push, Wash.

Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City medevacSEATTLE — A Coast Guard helicopter crew transported a hiker reportedly suffering from a knee injury and mild hypothermia seven miles southeast of La Push, Tuesday.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles safely hoisted the hiker and transported her to the Forks airport where she was taken by ambulance to the Forks Community Hospital.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle received a request from Olympic National Park personnel to transport an injured hiker along Goodman Creek Monday around 7 p.m. The 24-year-old woman had reportedly suffered the knee injury Sunday morning and was unable to hike out on her own.

The duty flight surgeon discussed the situation with the on-scene Olympic National Park ranger and EMT, who had placed the hiker in a tent and were treating her injuries. The decision was made not to extract her immediately due to the nature of the injury, time of day and deteriorating weather conditions. The ranger and EMT stayed with the hiker overnight to observe her condition and agreed to reevaluate the situation in the morning.

Around 9 a.m. Tuesday, Olympic National Park personnel reported that the hiker’s condition had worsened overnight, prompting the Coast Guard response.

The aircrew launched at 10:03 a.m. and arrived on scene shortly before 11 a.m. They hoisted the hiker and transferred her to awaiting EMS at 11:41 a.m.

“Thanks to our strong partnership with the Olympic National Park Service, we were able to work together to get the injured hiker the medical care she needed,” said Chief Warrant Officer Jeff James, command duty officer at Sector Puget Sound. “Our crews are always happy to assist local agencies in serving our communities.”

On-scene weather conditions were reportedly overcast skies with an air temperature of 47 degrees Fahrenheit and a wind speed of 8 mph.

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