HA 4 Rakesh Kumar, was serving on 45000-ton INS Vikramaditya, the country’s largest warship in 2016, and was a Hull Artificer, trained to work on the repair of ship hulls. On 10th June 2016 HA 4 Rakesh Kumar was made part of the team assigned to the task of overseeing the fitment of a newly fabricated Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) pipe by two civilian contract workers.
|Nao Sena Medal
|Date of Martyrdom
|10th June 2016
During the pipe-replacement process, HA 4 Rakesh Kumar heard someone shouting from the compartment below and saw a civilian emerging from it in a semi-conscious state. The sailor went down the ladder, picked up the civilian on his shoulder, and climbed up the vertical ladder to the PGR, laying him down under an AC vent. He then realised that the other civilian was also unconscious in the Cofferdam. Without any thought to his safety, the sailor clambered down the vertical ladder again and with no hesitation entered the Cofferdam where he saw his team leader wearing an Emergency Lifesaving Apparatus (ELSA) set and trying to pick up the civilian worker. HA4 Rakesh, with all his strength, tried to lift the second civilian but was unable to do so. He, however, lost track of time, and whilst continuing his vain but valiant efforts, also succumbed to the toxic gas inhalation and collapsed inside the Cofferdam.
HA 4 Rakesh Kumar, was awarded Nao Sena Medal for this feat of exemplary courage in saving the civilians working in the congested space infested with the deadly poisonous gases.