The Hush Post: In a rescue operation, the Indian Air Force (IAF) used its Mi-17 V5 Helicopter for dousing the flames on a merchant vessel MV SSL on the shores of Sunderbans. The Helicopter carried out Bambi bucket operations from Franzergunj Harbour helipad in West Bengal.
The Helicopter flew offshore and located the ship engulfed in flames. After ascertaining the wind pattern and point of impact of water, the fire was doused with
15000 litres of water carried in 6 shuttles with a Bambi bucket. The crew displayed great professionalism and dropped the water with pinpoint accuracy over the exact location of the fire. The operations by IAF Mi-17 V5 Helicopter controlled the massive fire and fully doused it within a short period of time, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement.
A report said that the IAF responded to a call for help from the merchant vessel MV SSL Kolkata. The ship was off the shore of the Sunderbans in West Bengal. A fire onboard the ship had grown into a major one.
An IAF Mil Mi-17 helicopter took off from the helipad at the Frazergunj Harbour and spotted the burning ship. The chopper assessed the wind patterns and used a helicopter bucket to drop water on the fire, the report said.
“The crew displayed great professionalism and dropped the water with pinpoint accuracy over the exact location of fire. The operations by IAF Mi-17 V5 Helicopter controlled the massive fire and fully doused it within a short period of time,” an IAF post on social media said.
The Mil Mi-17 is a medium-lift transport helicopter that is among the mainstays of the Indian Air Force. The Russian machine has been used by the IAF in a number of scenarios, including multiple rescue operations like the 2013 Uttarakhand flash floods and the 2014 Kashmir floods among others, it was reported.
The IAF usually uses the Mi-17s for airlifting stranded people or to airdrop food and other aid materials to affected areas. It has also been used in combat scenarios, most notably during the Kargil conflict. The IAF had suspended helicopter operations after an Mi-17 was shot down, and had brought its fighter jets into play, the report said.