New Delhi. 26 january 2019. On 01 December 2017, the Unit was tasked for HADR mission towards Cyclonic storm `Ockhi’ in the area of west of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He volunteered for the mission and ensured timely preparation of aircraft for the role. Realising the time criticality of the mission and the requirement to rescue more than one survivor, Sergeant Jha suggested the use of ‘strop’ in place of ‘harness’ as it would save time and aid in speedy recovery of survivors.
No naval diver was available for the mission and to aid recovery of survivors from the sea, he requested for a tech trade to operate the winch while he himself decided to do the task of naval diver if the situation demanded’ so. The high sea state and being an inexperienced swimmer did not deter Sergeant Jha from winching down into the sea to rescue survivors.
Realising that the use of `strop’ though expediting recoveries could lead to a mishap to inexperienced civilians, Sergeant Jha personally carried five survivors with him on the winch in the first mission on that day. On his second mission, he assisted the naval diver in safely rescuing five more fishermen from capsized boats.
For his act of exceptional courage and bravery in the face the life threatening situation and saving the lives of 10 fishermen, Sergeant Amit Kumar Jha is awarded Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)’.