Saga of life saving mission

Rescue team after successfully rescuing Maloo (Photo: Capt. Sobit Gauchan via @EverestToday)

Kathmandu, 22 Apr: Captain Sobit Gauchan of Prabhu Airlines had successfully rescued a French climber and a Sherpa from Annapurna Camp 3 to safety on Monday (aPR 17).

He was tired but looking for more opportunities to rescue others, especially missing Indian Mountaineer Anurag Maloo, if called out. He wrote in his Instagram offering his services.

And it came two days later. With Maloo’s brother who came from India to coordinate the rescue mission, and seven other rescue team members on board, Gaucuhan flew to the Mt Annapurna area closer to camp three.

‘There were witnesses who had seen Maloo slipping down from a nearby point. I left the rescue team members to locate Maloo in the crevasses, madee all the arrangements to save him in the event of avalanche taking place in the night and made final preparation to put him in the aircraft with the help of the rope next morning,’ Guachan told Deshsanchar.

He and Maloo’s brother spent the night in Dana where a hotel and helipad was available for the aircraft to land. Being fully prepared, he flew to the point and got there around 5.52 a.m. on Thursday and  a coordinated rescue mission ultimately saw Maloo lifted and tied with a rope put into the low flying aircraft . ‘The whole exercise might have taken little less than five hours’, sources said.

Maloo was lucky that no avalanche took place, he was visible. The search became relatively easier as there were eyewitnesses to Maloo slipping down from that point.

Gauchan expressed happiness that while things may not go exactly as planned, ‘were lucky in this case’.

Maloo was flown straight away to Manipal hospital in Pokhara, and then to Medicity in Kathmandu valley after about three hours of intense emergency treatment there.