At around 1430 hrs, on 23 Sep 18, a request was received at Airforce Station Sarsawa from the State Govt of Himachal, for the rescue of personnel struck due to incessant rains at Kullu. Beas river had swelled and as a result of which small islets were formed in the river wherein people were stranded.
One MLH class of helicopter was launched from the Mighty Armour unit of Western Air Command, based at Sarsawa. The helicopter was piloted by Squadron Leader Vipul Gupta with Squadron Leader Dhiman as the co-pilot. The helicopter reached the spot and found 19 people stranded on an islet on the swelling Beas river. The pilot brought the helicopter to a low hover and the crew helped the stranded people into the aircraft. They were then flown to the local airfield of Bhuntar.
On 24 Sep 18 two youth were spotted on another small strip of land in the river. The helicopter, which was available at Bhuntar was launched and these two person were winched up since there was no place for the helicopter to land.
The helicopter and its crew have been instructed to wait at Bhuntar airstrip should any other rescue is required.
“Today restricted space, high winds speed, High tension cables and tall trees precluded the chance of landing hence we had to winch the two people. All rescued were reported to be safe and fine. We are on standby for any further requirements” said Squadron Leader Vipul Gupta.