How Lance Naik Hanumanthappa survived 6 days below 25 feet of snow in Siachen

Here's a look at what Hanumanthappa might have done to keep breathing till help arrived.

By Ajith Vijay Kumar | Updated: Feb 10, 2016, 00:37 AM IST
How Lance Naik Hanumanthappa survived 6 days below 25 feet of snow in Siachen

New Delhi: As India prays for Lance Naik Hanumanthappa's speedy recovery after he survived six days buried under 25 feet of snow, here's a look at what he might have done to keep breathing till help arrived.

Hanumanthappa was part of a team led by a junior commissioned officer of Madras Regiment that had gone missing after their post was hit by an avalanche at an altitude of 19,600 feet close to the Line of Control with Pakistan where the temperature was -45C.

While the army has a prescribed drill on what to do and what should not be done when hit by an avalanche, the actual challenge is to not get disoriented when hit by a wall of ice.

The drill says that one should try to swim with the ice to try and keep above the surface of the ice but in this case, it may not have been possible as Hanumanthappa was found 25 feet below the surface.

The next best option is to curl one's body into the foetal position and then dig an air pocket around the mouth. But in case of Hanumanthappa, it appears that he may have landed into a natural air pocket.

The air pocket would have helped him keep breathing and also aided in keeping his body warm as the warmth of his body would have got trapped inside the closed space, thus preventing hypothermia.

Hanumanthappa would have also tried to make as little movement as possible to conserve energy till help arrived.

The 9 brave martyrs who lost their lives on the icy slope would have also attempted all that Hanamanthappa may have done but in the end there's only one explanation why he survived while others couldn't – he was just plain lucky.

His time was not over.....