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Shaurya Chakra Commander Gosavi Kaustubh Vijaykumar, NM (03657-K)

EMBARGO : NOT TO BE USED/RELEASED/PUBLISHED UNTIL 0001 HRS ON 26 JAN 2015

During the month of Jul 14, the officer was involved in four separate gallant and courageous acts viz. on 03 Jul, 14 Jul, 18 Jul and 19 July 14 wherein he was successful in saving lives of 15 personnel in a short span of 16 days.

On 03 Jul 2014, 842 Squadron was tasked to undertake a medical evacuation of a patient who was suffering due to acute abdominal pain onboard MV Star Eagle. The officer whilst navigating through adverse weather/ low visibility/ rains and strong winds, winched up the patient after ascertaining his medical condition from doctor and successfully evacuated the Philippine national to base. The patient was subsequently transferred to hospital for immediate surgery thereby saving his life.

On 14 Jul 14, a distress message was received form MV Priyanka that the ship was grounded off Revdanda close to Mumbai and was listing dangerously thereby endangering the lives of crew onboard. The officer flew through the prevalent inclement rainy weather along with heavy swell and strong seas in the area with continual rains which was reportedly the cause of this marine accident. As Captain of aircraft, Commander KVK Gosavi exhibited superior professional competence and leadership traits and employed his outstanding flying skills to affect rescue of all eleven crew members of MV Priyanka.

On 18 Jul 14 at about 1400h an alert message for rescue of stranded personnel in Lotus building at Andheri which was on fire was received. On reaching the building he realised that survivors had gathered in a corner one floor below the top floor of the building about 450 feet high and were unable to reach the top due to the towering flames. These menacing flames, strong winds and intense heat made even the approach of the helicopter to area difficult. Notwithstanding the difficult flying environment, he successfully winched up Mr Manik Ogale, fire fighter from Andheri Fire Brigade.

On 19 Jul 14, 842 Squadron was directed to execute Medical Evacuation of two Chinese patients ex MT Ocean Crown, The operation was required to be executed at fringes of Chetak operating ranges of about 20nm into the sea. There was no possibility of landing helicopter on the ship and the rescue had to be undertaken by winching up the patients, an arduous task as the patients had multiple fractures. Commander Gosavi employed all his experience and outstanding flying skills to bring the helicopter to a low hover height on deck of MT Ocean Crown. In a challenging and daring operation, he innovatively brought the patient inside the helicopter using the helicopter winch and the assistance from diver/ ground team.

The officer for his exceptional display of courage, leadership and professional competence during the rescue operations in which he save the lives of 15 personnel has been awarded Shaurya Chakra.

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