Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Injured sailor 'can't reach food or water'

Abhilash Tomy,Indian Navy,Indian Navy commander rescued Australia joins bid to rescue injured Indian sailor in remote ocean
Ellis Copeland | 24 September, 2018, 05:02

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is coordinating the rescue, after Tomy's yacht was damaged in a storm during the round-the-world race.

Stranded on the high seas, Indian Naval Commander Abhilash Tomy, who suffered a serious back injury while representing India in the worldwide solo circumnavigation Golden Globe Race (GGR) 2018, will be picked up by the French fisheries patrol vessel Osiris in the next 16 hours, an Indian Navy spokesperson said Sunday evening.

The Australian Defence Force has joined the urgent rescue mission to find a seriously injured solo Indian sailor who's sent desperate distress messages from his stricken vessel in the southern Indian Ocean.

The Australian Defence Force is helping with the rescue effort.

The Indian Navy said its vessel, along with another Australian frigate, was on its way to Tomy's location, which, according to some reports, is "as far from help as you can possibly be".

Commander Tomy was stranded after he suffered a back injury Friday as his yacht was hit by a vicious storm with 14-metre-high waves mid-way across south Indian Ocean.

Race organizers posted a photo to Facebook early Sunday of the Thuriya taken from an Indian Navy aircraft and showing the vessel's sails in the water.

"Commander Tomy responded by ping on EPIRB as the aircraft was flying over him", the spokesman said here.

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The 39-year-old Indian navy commander has been communicating using a Yellow Brick texting unit with a battery life of days, and an operation co-ordinated from Australia is rushing to reach a position on the limit of sea rescue.

Two military planes, one from Australia and one from India, flew over the yacht on Sunday to inspect its condition, but crew were unable to establish contact with Tomy.

Race organisers said an executive jet from Perth would reach the area of Tomy's yacht, about 3,000km south-west of the city on Sunday.

The race started on 1 July 2018 when competitors set sail from Les Sables-d'Olonne, France.

A highly decorated Navy officer, Abhilash Tomy is the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe, a feat he achieved in 2013. Tomy is apparently unable to move and has requested emergency assistance following which the Indian Navy and the Australian government have pressed rescue services.

It had also said other entrants were asked to make towards Tomy's position if possible, and added that the weather was extreme. They are also banned from using modern technology such as Global Positioning System and mobile phones.

The GGR is being organised to celebrate 50 years since the 1968-69 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, to complete an unassisted, solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the world via the Great Capes.

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