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IANS

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has rescued an Israeli national in Ladakh suffering from mountain sickness with difficulty in breathing due to the high altitude, a defence spokesperson said on Saturday.

The spokesperson said that the 114 Helicopter Unit received a call on Saturday morning for Casevac (Casualty Evacuation) from the Nimaling Camp near Markha valley.

The Israeli national, Noam Gil, was suffering from acute mountain sickness and was having difficulty in breathing.

His oxygen level had dropped to 68 per cent and in view of the severity of his condition, he had to be rescued from the valley which is known for severe turbulent conditions.

"Led by Wg Cdr Ashish Kapoor, Flt Cdr 114 Helicopter Unit, with Flt Lt Kushagra Singh and Wg Cdr S Badiyaree and Sqn Ldr S Nagpal as no 2, got airborne within 20 minutes for this time critical mission," the spokesperson said.

"Braving strong winds and turbulent conditions, the formation reached the spot in about 45 minutes, however the casualty was in a steady move to lower altitudes.

"After a continuous search of 30 minutes the person was spotted at a river gorge. The valley being very narrow there was difficulty in manoeuvring the aircraft. The formation leader led in for an approach on an unprepared surface on the valley bottom.

"With the assistance of number 2 holding overhead and proficiency of number 1, the landing was carried out in one of the most restricted spaces ever landed in this particular valley. The casualty was emplaned at low hover and the formation got airborne immediately. Being on less fuel, the formation routed back via standby route braving all the difficulties the formation finally landed at Leh," the defence spokesperson added.

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