Date: Nov. 1992
I am a member of the prestigious Bombay Natural History Society(BNHS). In Oct. 1992 BNHS had organised a trek to Har-Ki-Dun, Garhwal Himalaya, which was my 1st Himalayan trek. A guide from Dehradun Mr. Manoj Wilson & me dared to do search & rescue operation in the night at 22:00 Hrs.while saving Mr. Jacob.
Mr. Jacob belongs to Dehradun & supposed to share his knowledge of "Flora & Fauna" with us when he fell down in the stream of river Yamuna near the village Mori, while crossing a wooden Himalayan rope bridge on his way to Mori's forest rest house. The rest house was our destination of that day. Mr. Jacob was literally unconscious for almost 30 minutes.
It took us 15 minutes to search him on the bank of the river which was 25-30 ft. below road level with torch & single nylon rope. I normally used to carry for safety a nilon rope in Sahyadri treks(locally), the same one I carried for this trek and fortunately used for this night search operation to keep Manoj & myself in the loop in the dark till we find the the casualty. Luckily we saw a small torch light far away while struggling to reach the river bed in the dark. This small torch helped us to identify the casualty within less time. Since Manoj was a localite, cumulatively we decided that he should leave the place to get some more people from the village to take the casualty(Mr. Jacob) properly to nearby village hospital. Meanwhile I was supposed to take care of the casualty till the immediate help arrive to this location.
When Manoj left me & Mr. Jacob (casualty) to get some help from nearby village Mori which was one km. away, it was a horrible experience for me to survive till the time the rescue team arrived at the site to carry the casualty. Mr. Jacob was 68 year old at that time. He was bald & dark in complexion. I could able to see his eyes only in the night. Since he was unconscious due to shock, so the immediate task was to make him conscious & keep him warm till the team arrive. Since I learned basic First-Aid recently, this was right opportunity for me to display the courage and necessary first aid. I utilised my fresh learnings practically to bring him in the conscious state. After few minutes he could able to speak/whispered, which was a relaxing sceen for me. He was whispering something which was not so clear to understand, after many repetition I was able to understand what he meant. I was amazed that he was not having any single teeth in his mouth which caused him to speak unclear. He was asking for his denture for better communication.
It was not possible to find his denture in that night since his fall line was of 25-30 feet from road to stream vertically with shrubs & bushes. He fell down due to insufficient light from the road to his left where the valley was . Right side of the road was hilled. He was carrying a small torch of two pencil cells. He left the bridge back where we was supposed to take left turn to reach the Mori forest house. Next to bridge after 10 steps ahead he fell down. We analysed that he must had a 25 feet down fall with first fall of 10 feet from a slippery bolder then tumbling down to stream and stuck between two big bolders. We were thinking of how it was possible to fall without a drop of a blood. But it took no time for us to find where exactly things went wrong for him when we were trying to evacuate him from the valley. He was having a great pain on his backbone. Manoj carried a chair from the village to carry Mr. Jacob to the roadside. So we tied his body along with a chair in a sitting position to avoid further dislocation of his bones.
We thanked the Hospital members, who helped him for quick medication on site. She told that casualty had to be admitted as early as possible to hospital since their might be heavy internal fracture of his bone or internal bleeding.
So we hired a jeep from Mori village and transferred him to hospital which was 2 kms away from the site of accident, at night. Next day I visited the site of accident to search Jacob's denture & it was his good luck that I could find it. Then I visited to hospital to see him & to give his denture. As expected he could not recognise me initially. Later after introduction he blessed me. That blessing was my achievement. I thought my trek was over I mean no need to do further veture. But still, since it was my first ever Himalayan trek I recharged my body with joy of my achievement.
Later deputy leader was with him for communicating to Mr. Jacob's resident & then to shift him in to the Dehradun hospital.
I can't forget this experience ever in my life.