Kerala trekker rescued after 45-hour-long operation, he says ‘Thanks Indian Army’

Published on Feb 09, 2022 10:35 AM IST
The 23-year-old trekker from Kerala, R Babu, will soon be airlifted. He was stuck in a cleft of a hill in Palakkad district since Monday. The rescue operation was carried out jointly by the Indian Army, the Navy and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
Kerala trekker R Babu was rescued on Wednesday morning.(Courtesy: Indian Army)
Kerala trekker R Babu was rescued on Wednesday morning.(Courtesy: Indian Army)
By | Reported by Ramesh Babu, Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram

In a successful operation, a trapped trekker in Kerala’s Palakkad district was rescued from a hill after 45 hours. Twenty-three-year-old R Babu was stuck in a hill cleft in Malampuzha village since Monday. The rescue operation was carried out jointly by the personnel of the Indian Army, the Navy and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

Babu was taken to the top of the hill since the descent is cumbersome. He will be airlifted shortly.

The video and photos of his rescue were shared by the Indian Army. In one of the videos, he is heard saying “Thanks Indian Army” while sitting among his rescuers. He also kissed an Army personnel as a gesture of thanks and joins them in chanting “Indian Army ki jai, Bharat Mata ki jai”. 

The rescuers reached Babu on Wednesday morning, after crawling in the hill for four hours. The team offered him water; he will be checked by a medical team which has been standing at the base camp of the rescue operation.

The trekker's friends said he fell into an opening on the hill when he experienced exhaustion while trying to descend the rocks on Monday.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the health condition of the 23-year-old is satisfactory. Babu's mother and brother are camping near the base camp.

The mountaineering team of the Indian Army is a part of the rescue operation.

Babu suffered an injury when he fell into an opening of the hill while descending. He later sent selfies and photographs of the location where he was trapped on Cherad hill, a police officer said.

His friends, who were able to descend the hill safely after abandoning the trek halfway following the accident, said that he initially responded to their calls, but they weren’t able to locate him in the crevice of the mountain.

On Tuesday, navy choppers arrived at the spot and made several sorties but failed to evacuate him because of the treacherous terrain.

A Coast Guard helicopter pilot also tried to hover it near the ridge where Babu is stranded, but due to "topography of terrain the helicopter experienced heavy downdraft", said the force, adding that the mission was aborted.

Attempts to send food and water have also failed to materialise, and the authorities kept away wild animals by lighting flambeaus.

The rescue operation was again launched on Wednesday morning, which successfully brough down the trekker.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2022
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