Haridas Kundu, Cha (FD)
Haridas Kundu

Haridas Kundu, CHA (FD), an Aircrew Diver was deployed to Belagavi, Karnataka as part of the Naval Detachment wef 08 Aug 19 for ‘Op Varsha Rahat’. On 09 Aug 19, information of two aged men being stranded atop a tree in the village of Haloli was received. Consequently, one AU 704 (ALH) was airborne at 0730 h on 09 Aug 19 in which Haridas Kundu was the rescue diver. It was a highly challenging SAR mission with low visibility, torrential rain and turbulent river currentThe rescue site, inundated with water rising up to six feet, was in dangerous proximity (5 metres) to a high power transmission line and its pylons. The survivors had been stranded bereft of food and water for three days and were so exhausted that they were in no position to even approach the rescue basket by themselves. Despite dangerous conditions and regardless of his personal safety, Kundu insisted that he be winched down amidst the heavy flow of the river. Whilst being lowered, the rescue basket due to its swing in cross winds came in close proximity to the tree, pylon and the transmission tower, threatening a potentially fatal helicopter emergency. Showing exemplary presence of mind, amidst the heavy current that threatened to sweep him off the feet, he deftly cleared the basket from obstructions preventing a disaster.  Further, braving the raging current over six feet high, Kundu advanced to the barely alive survivors and rescued them from the jaws of almost certain death and safely settled them onto the rescue basket. Despite the extreme risk of getting swept away with the tumultuous current, Kundu opted to stay behind while the civilians were winched to safety. For his selfless actions in dire circumstances, Haridas Kundu, CHA (FD) 130956-B has been awarded Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry).