Navy commander Abhilash Tomy rescued, in conscious state

Abhilash Tomy

Indian Navy officer Abhilash Tomy, adrift thousands of kilometres from dry land with a serious back injury was safely rescued from his stricken yacht Monday after a carefully-coordinated global effort.

Cdr Tomy suffered a severe back injury after the mast of his boat, Thuriya, was broken last Friday, due to extremely rough weather and sea conditions, while participating in the historic GGR 2018 that commenced on July 1, 2018.

An Australian navy frigate HMAS Ballarat had left the Australian port of Fremantle on Saturday and was expected to reach Amsterdam Island on Friday, Gaden said.

Before the Indian Navy commander was found, search and rescue officer Phil Gaden said Mr Tomy had a severely injured back. He's conscious and doing okay.

Rear Admiral Jonathan Dallas Mead, commander of the Australian fleet, has said it would take a few days to reach Tomy's location in such risky conditions.

Race officials had sent messages to Tomy informing him of the latest updates to the rescue plan, but were concerned when he no longer returned their messages, suggesting he was possibly "now too weak to transmit", they said. "Chest burning", was a subsequent message the 39-year-old Indian navy commander sent Sunday, per the BBC. "These ADF assets are well suited to undertake maritime search-and-rescue missions during times of extreme weather. If all goes well, he will be rescued and transferred to an Australian naval ship which sailed from Perth to the location on Sunday morning", Indian Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma told the BBC. "The injured officer shall be picked up in the next 16 hrs by a French vessel Osiris", she had tweeted. The rescue team shifted Tomy from his indigenous vessel, S V Thuriya to the Osiris on a stretcher using their Gemini boat.




The Australian Defence Force is helping with the rescue effort.

Rescuers confirmed "Tomy is conscious, talking and onboard the Orisis", race organisers said in a statement on Monday.

Tomy had suffered a serious back injury Friday after his yacht was damaged in a storm while representing India in the worldwide solo circumnavigation Golden Globe Race (GGR) 2018.

He is in the south Indian Ocean, approximately 1900 nautical miles WSW from Perth, Australia and about 2700 nm from Cape Comorin.

The 2018 Golden Globe fleet set sail on July 1 from Les Sables d'Olonne in France.

Boats taking part in the Golden Globe challeneg are similar to those used 50 years ago in the first such race.

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