Out on a sightseeing trip with wife, an Indian Navy officer rescued a man from drowning in the Kochi Channel near Vypin Beach last week. Lt Rahul Dalal, along with his wife, was taking an evening stroll on the Vypin beach on 5 April  when he spotted the drowning man struggling for life and immediately swung into action to save him.

It was around 4.10 pm and the man was shouting for help, unable to swim back. While a crowd had gathered, they were not able to help the victim, identified by the Navy as “Dileep Kumar from Aurangabad”.

Without losing any time, Lieutenant Rahul Dalal jumped into the sea waters to rescue the drowning man. He reached the victim within a few minutes. Pulling him back to the shore, however, took him almost 20 to 25 minutes as the undercurrent was strong.

According to the Navy, the officer also had to deal with the panic-stricken victim who was pulling him down, putting both their lives in danger. The officer managed to calmed the victim and made him hold onto his shoulders, after which he started swimming towards the beach.

Kumar, meanwhile, went limp as he lost consciousness. Lt Dalal was helped by some locals soon and together they managed to reach the shore. The victim had stopped breathing by then. On opening his mouth, it was found that some plants were choking his air passage. Lt Dalal cleared the passage and administered Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), reviving the victim.

Police had been informed in the mean time, and Kumar was taken to a government hospital from where he was discharged after recuperation.

On Monday, the Indian Navy shared a post on Facebook giving details of the entire rescue operation carried out by the off-duty officer.

Dileep Kumar has now recovered, and he called the officer who saved his life to express his gratitude.

On a special request made through Indian Navy Spokesperson and PRO Captain DK Sharma, Lt Rahul Dalal spoke to this writer and said he was happy to have heard from Kumar.

“Feeling good and satisfied after hearing the voice of a man whom I saved. He called me yesterday after getting discharged from hospital. It really gives me a feeling of great satisfaction which can’t be framed in words. If we believe in ourselves, pushing our own limits to save a life is a beautiful moment for life. This is a point in my life where I have executed what has been taught to me by Indian Navy and my seniors who have groomed us in such a manner. Proud to be a part of the Indian Navy.”

(The writer is a Delhi-based independent contributor)