Four fishermen were rescued by an Indian Air Force helicopter in a dramatic operation after they were stranded on an under-construction barrage at the swollen Tawi river in Jammu on Monday, officials said.
Two of the fishermen were stuck on a concrete platform jutting out of a pillar of the structure, which was being constructed to create an artificial lake, known as the Tawi barrage project at Baghwati Nagar in the heart of the city, the officials said.
In a video of the rescue operation that has gone viral on social media, a Garud commando can be seen rappelling down the chopper and landing on the concrete platform.
The commando attached rappelling harnesses to both of them, who were then airlifted simultaneously and dropped to a safe location near the Tawi banks, defence public relations officer (PRO) Lt Col Devender Anand said.
Two others were holding on to a ladder attached to a pillar of the structure. The well-coordinated operation saw some nervous moments when the two fishermen fell into the water while they were being helped by a Garud commando to climb the rope ladder of the chopper, officials said.
Luckily, both the fishermen managed to swim to the corner, where they were subsequently rescued by the rescue personnel who were on the ground, an official said.
One of the rescued persons said he and his family were very thankful to the IAF for saving their lives. A large number of onlookers raised slogans in praise of the IAF and the country after the success of the operation, which lasted nearly two hours.
The civil administration made a request to the IAF around noon after the police and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel found it difficult to reach the persons who were trapped after the water level in the Tawi river increased due to heavy rains, Superintendent of Police (South) Vinay Kumar said.
"Landing at the site was out of the question and establishing a low hover was also unfeasible due to the presence of obstructions," the defence PRO said. Highest level of civil-military cooperation, ground air coordination and cockpit resource management by all crew members made the mission a success, he added.
"It was a daredevil operation undertaken by the IAF due to critical paucity of time," an IAF officer, who supervised the operation, said, adding that they were at the scene within half-an-hour.
The highlight of the operation was the coordination between the helicopter pilot and the Garud commando who volunteered for the rescue operation, he said.
Lauding the IAF for the successful operation, the SP said: "It was one of the most dangerous and challenging operation and thankfully we were able to rescue all the four trapped persons."
In another incident near Harki Poudi in the city, a person, Talib Hussain from Udhampur, was stranded in the river and was rescued by a police team, led by Deputy Superintendent of Police R S Sahi, the officials said.
Haryana: IAF rescues 9 members of family from flooded field
Braving bad weather and low visibility in the wee hours of Monday, the Indian Air Force airlifted to safety nine members of a family, including six children, stranded in an inundated field near a swollen Yamuna river in Karnal.
Heavy rains over the past few days have resulted in flooding in some parts of the state.
Mustakin and eight members of his family had gone to the field in Gadhpur Tapu village on Sunday night and got stranded due to a rise in the water levels in Yamuna, the Haryana government said in statement.
The stranded persons included two women and six children, it said.
When the matter came to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's notice, he immediately directed deputy commissioner, Karnal, Vinay Pratap Singh, to take action to save the family, the official statement said.
It was not possible to use a boat for the rescue operation due to the strong current in the river and low visibility at night, it said.
Air Force Station, Sarsawa in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district was contacted for the operation, it added.
Assisted by the Haryana Police, the IAF personnel rescued the family, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh Virk said.
Haryana's Department of Revenue and Disaster Management has issued a high flood warning, alerting deputy commissioners of Karnal, Panipat, Sonipat, Faridabad and Palwal districts.