A petty officer was awarded the Navy Marine Corps Medal, the sea service’s highest non-combat award for heroism, on Nov. 21 for a daring mountain rescue last year in Washington state.
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Anthony Anglikowski was recognized for his actions during a helicopter rescue mission to aid two “critically injured” hikers in Washington’s Olympic National Forest on May 23, 2021, according to a Navy release.
Anglikowski was part of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island’s search and rescue team, a crew of sailors who regularly fly in on helicopters to rescue civilian nature goers across the region.
That day, two unidentified hikers had descended a 45-degree slope on The Brothers mountains when they both slipped and slid down the mountain’s icy terrain, according to the Navy.
One of the hikers was able to stop their fall, but the other ended up sliding into a deep crevasse.
After arriving at the scene, the Whidbey helo inserted Anglikowski and another crewmember onto a slope. The duo then made their way to a rocky ledge, where they found one of the hikers.
Next, Anglikowski and members of the Jefferson County search and rescue unit developed a suspension system to descend into the crevasse and reach the other hiker.
“The descent to reach the hiker was complicated by a snowpack-fueled waterfall that flowed through the recovery scene,” the Navy said in a release. “At significant personal risk, Anglikowski and one of the Jefferson County team members rappelled into the crevasse to reach the hiker.”
The hiker who had fallen in the crevasse died, but Anglikowski was lauded for recovering that hiker and rescuing the survivor.
“Anglikowski’s medical training and mountain rescue expertise were instrumental in carrying out this dangerous mission,” the Navy said.
A Pennsylvania native, Anglikowski has been stationed at Whidbey Island since 2020, according to his service record.
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at email@example.com.