The Kerala floods have caused a lot of damage to property and many people have lost their lives. With the Indian defence forces leading the rescue operations, stories of unsung heroes have surfaced. During one such rescue operation, Captain P Rajkumar, a Naval pilot of B42 chopper, maneuvered a helicopter and landed on a rooftop to rescue 26 people. The team also rescued an 80-year-old lady who was bed-ridden.
In an official statement by the naval personnel about the rescue operations in Kerala he said,
Having winched four people, lifting another 22 was a major task and the crew took a call of going for a low hover to embark all those stranded there.
At Chalakudy, the helicopter, being flown by Captain P Rajkumar, was planning to drop two Gemini boats, eight divers, food and relief materials. On seeing the helicopter, a few old people came on top of the roof of a two-storey building and started waving at the chopper, says The News Minute.
As the helicopter came down to rescue the stranded people, over 25 others came rushing towards the chopper. Among those stranded was an 80-year-old lady who was airlifted. The helicopter was slowly hovered down by Rajkumar through the narrow roof and successfully maneuvered between the trees. All the stranded people were rescued and taken to the INS Garuda naval base in Kochi.
Rajkumar was honored with the Shaurya Chakra, the third-highest civilian award, during the Independence Day celebrations this year for his work during cyclonic storm Ockhi in Kerala in 2017, especially for saving the life of a stranded fisherman.
The cyclone had caused massive devastation and claimed 218 lives, says PIB. On December 1, 2017, Rajkumar, who was the Captain of the naval helicopter Sea King 528, and his crew flew sorties from Thiruvananthapuram throughout the day for search and rescue operations.