IAF rescues Israeli mountaineer in Ladakh

New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) An Israeli mountaineer, who had accidentally fallen off the summit of the 20,182 high Stok Kangri mountain in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ladakh region and was badly injured, was rescued by the Indian Force on Sunday, defence officials said.

The unconscious mountaineer, who was not identified, was rescued from an elevation of around 20,000 feet by two choppers of the Siachen Pioneers – one flown by by Wing Commander B.S. Sehrawat with Squadron Leader Pankaj Borkar and the other by Wing Commander K.S. Negi with Squadron Leader A. Antony in the second chopper.

Successfully evacuated, the mountaineer was brought to Leh where he was admitted into the Sonam Norbu hospital. His condition is said to be critical.

IAF officials said it was a challenging rescue operation, as the helicopter skids even in partial contact with snow owing to the steep gradient.

“This calls for exceptional piloting skill, judgement and daring. Degree of difficulty gets further compounded by altitude, no reserve of power and over snowbound terrain,” an official said.

This rescue came days after the Siachen Pioneers rescued 21 British nationals and one French national on August 6-7 in another challenging operation.

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