Free Diver Siba Thekho Pao recommended for Nau Sena Medal
He showed courage and bravery on night of 17 April 2017 by saving the lives of four personnel.
Siba Thekho Pao while in Marino Commando Flight at INS Shikra, displayed valor and grit in saving the lives of four crew members of tugboat ‘Sonika’. He has been recommended for the Nau Sena Medal (Gallantry) award.
The sailor showed courage and bravery in the pitch dark night conditions on the night of 17 April 2017. At about 2330 hours on April 17, ‘Sonika’ was on the verge of sinking due to uncontrollable flooding sent out a distress message. There was danger to navigation so the Marine police and the Indian Coast Guard were unable to reach the tugboat.
The pilots immediately commenced the arduous task of maintaining hover over the cluster of survivors, so that the winch could be lowered to the closest survivor. Considering the plight of the four people who could drown and wash away any moment, Siba Thekho Pao volunteered for the mission.
Slowly and steadily he strapped each survivor in the rescue strop on his lap, one at a time, getting them up into the safe confines of the rescue helicopter. All the four survivors wore brought up safely by the diver in a very professional manner in less than 10 minutes. He did this physically demanding task with disregard to his own life.