Service No: 04730-Z
Date of Birth: Oct 15, 1974
Place of Birth: Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Last Rank: Lt Cdr
Unit : INS Shankush
Award : Shaurya Chakra
Date of Martyrdom : Aug 30, 2010
Lt Cdr Firdaus Darabshah Mogal was born on 15 Oct 1974 to Shri Darabshah and Smt Armin in Ahmedabad. Lt Cdr Firdaus, eldest of three sons, completed his schooling from Maneckji Cooper Educational Trust and joined the prestigious National Defence Academy in the year 1992. He was commissioned into the Indian Navy as a Sub Lieutenant on 01 Jan 1998.
Lt Cdr Firdaus being adventurous at heart volunteered for the submarine arm of the Indian Navy and qualified the Basic Submariner course with flying colours. His illustrious career included appointments as Anti Submarine Warfare Officer on-board INS Shalki, the Training Coordinator at Submarine School, INS Satvahana, Vishakhapatnam and the Executive Officer of INS Shankush. For his professional competence, zeal, enthusiasm and devotion to duty Lt Cdr FD Mogal was commended by the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command in 2007.
INS Shankush Operation : 30 Aug 2010
Lt Cdr Mogal had assumed the duties of the Executive Officer of INS Shankush, a naval submarine on May 26, 2010. On August 29, whilst the submarine was en-route for a deployment, a defect was observed. The authorities decided to surface the submarine in the exercise area after sunrise to attempt external repairs on the starboard flap since this was the only option that could enable it to continue her mission. At that time, the submarine was experiencing heavy seas and rough weather.
At around 6.55 am on August 30, 2010, when a team comprising three sailors, led by the Engineering Officer, was on the casing for defect rectification, a strong wave swept two of them and the Engineering Officer overboard. Lt Cdr Mogal immediately realized the gravity of the situation and immediately swung into action. The third sailor hanging from the aft casing was required to be rescued, and on reaching near him, Lt Cdr Mogal realized that the sailor was completely immobilized due to his leg injury. Displaying an unparalleled feat of heroism and fearlessness and with complete disregard for personal safety, the officer carried the sailor from aft casing to the bridge. Only a man of his strength and fortitude could have thought of even attempting such a task in the prevailing weather condition.
Lt Cdr Mogal fought the nature in her elements and braved strong waves, heavy rainfall and severe rolling/ pitching that threatened to wash him and the injured sailor overboard. After about 20 minutes of frightening struggle, the officer reached the ladder on the fin that had to be climbed for handing over the injured sailor to bridge. The waves were such that even this ladder was getting submerged. However, Lt Cdr Mogal was not the one to give up. Once again a seemingly impossible task of climbing a narrow ladder with no strong foothold and a man on his shoulder was demonstrated by him. He handed over the injured sailor to bridge and then turned around to assist the divers in the recovery of the overboard men.
The recovery of the first casualty infused hope in the overboard men to hang on and they looked at their Executive Officer for their rescue. Lt Cdr Mogal once again displaying an act of supreme bravery joined to assist the divers. He managed to pull overboard men close to the submarine. However, as he and the divers were assisting them to climb on-board a huge wave submerged them completely. When the wave broke all six personnel, including Lt Cdr Mogal, were overboard. In such circumstances, Lt Cdr Mogal maintained his cool and gathered all overboard men in one huddle. He then signaled bridge that he would get this huddle to climb on-board. Led by Lt Cdr Mogal, the huddle closed the submarines casing. He then started helping others in the huddle to climb on-board.
Lt Cdr Mogal swam tirelessly and even made others stand on his shoulders so that they could climb on-board. His concern for his men in such dire circumstances was so much that he ordered all men to climb on-board before him. Once all were on-board, Lt Cdr Mogal attempted to climb up and as he was about to reach, another wave washed him overboard. It appeared that he had sustained head injuries due to this wave. The Anti Submarine Warfare Officer ( ASWO) of the submarine called for the assistance of a Search And Rescue ( SAR) helicopter and he was transferred to the Naval Hospital INS Ashwini. However, Lt Cdr Mogal succumbed to his injuries and was martyred after saving the lives of six of his ship mates. Lt Cdr Mogal was awarded ‘Shaurya Chakra’, posthumously for his gallant deed beyond the call of duty, leadership and supreme sacrifice in the highest traditions of Indian Navy.
Lt Cdr Firdaus Darabshah Mogal is survived by his father Shri Darabshah, mother Smt Armin, wife Smt Kerzin Mogal and son Yashaan.
The Citation for the Shaurya Chakra awarded to him reads:-
Lieutenant Commander Firdaus Darabshah Mogal assumed the duties of the Executive Officer of the submarine on 26 May, 2010. On 29 August, 2010, whilst the submarine was en-route for a deployment, a defect was observed on the starboard outer exhaust flap. All attempts to rectify the defect from within the submarine proved futile. At about 0655 hour on 30 August 2010, a team comprising of 3 sailors led by the Engineer Officer of the submarine was sent on the casing for defect rectification. As the team was approaching the flap on the after casing, a strong wave swept two of the sailors and the Engineer Officer overboard. The third sailor was badly injured and was hanging overboard with his storm belt with major abrasive injuries on his leg, Lieutenant Commander Firdaus Darabshah Mogal who was on bridge, immediately realized the gravity of the situation. Since the injured sailor hanging on the after casing was required to be recovered immediately, he himself proceeded to rescue the injured sailor. After about 20 min of frightening struggle, the officer reached the ladder on the fin that had to be climbed for handing over the injured sailor to bridge. The recovery of the first casualty infused hope in the overboard men to hang on and they looked at their Executive Office for their rescue. He managed to pull the overboard men close to the submarine. Once all were onboard, the officer attempted to climb up and as he was about to reach another wave washed him overboard. It appeared that he had sustained head injuries due to this wave. Realizing this, the ASWO of the submarine proceeded to his rescue. Simultaneously, assistance of a SAR helicopter was called for from Mumbai. Lieutenant Commander Firdaus Darabshah Mogal was rescued by the SAR helicopter and evacuated to INHS Asvini, however he had succumbed to his injuries by then. Lieutenant Commander Firdaus Darabshah Mogal displayed exceptional courage, unmatched show of fearless valor in the face of death and made supreme sacrifice in saving the lives of six men.
Lt Cdr Mogal’s wife, Smt Kerzin’s tribute to her husband( Six months after his martyrdom):-
“Prayers for my beloved husband brought all the pain and the pain is something one will just have to live with. Six months without you has felt like years,yet when I see the picture of us 3 as one big happy family, it feels like yesterday.If time is the healer I’d want to be healed but never shall these memories fade off. Keep being with Yashann and me – we never can have enough of you ever”.
In the memory of Lt Cdr Firdaus D. Mogal:
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Ganesh Kini2020at3:35 pm
Firdaus and Kerzin were our next door neigbours during their stay in Vizag..we had such a great time and so many wonderful memories. The news of Firdaus passing away was such a shock for all us who knew him personally. Firdaus was a wonderful human being and great friend to be with. You will always be missed.
Alec Patrick antonio monteiro2020at5:37 pm
I served with Lt cdr firdaus mogul on ins shalki. He was a gem of a person. I remember during the cyclone at ins valsura jamnagar we we in the same team to help relief victims. A good man with a heart ❤ of hd
Praveen Grewal2021at12:07 am
” In grey cold waves , when he went too far
Strength of his spirit was the weapon of his war”
JAgdish Soni2021at5:19 pm
Salute to our real Hero and God Jagdish Soni B/O Shahid Capt. Nilesh Soni Ahmadabad
Pradeep krishnarao more2022at12:12 pm