Efforts on to rescue injured Navy officer stranded in Indian Ocean


Team Udayavani, Sep 22, 2018, 1:25 PM IST

Kochi: Indian Navy Saturday said all efforts were being made to rescue its officer Abhilash Tomy, who has been injured after his vessel was hit by a vicious storm mid-way across the south Indian Ocean while taking part in the Golden Globe Race.

Rescue efforts, led by Australian Defence Forces, are underway off Perth to find the 39-year old sailor.

Golden Globe Race is a sailing race around the world that started on 1 July from France. Commander Tomy, who became the first Indian to have circumnavigated the globe in 2013, is the only Indian participating in the Golden Globe Race that involves a gruelling 30,000-mile solo circumnavigation of the globe

Commander Tomy, sailing on an indigenously built sailing vessel ‘Thuriya’, suffered a back injury Friday after the yacht was dismasted in extremely rough weather and sea condition, with wind speeds of 130 kmph and 10 metre high waves.

“All out efforts are being made to rescue Abhilash Tomy. Indian Naval stealth Frigate, INS Satpura operating in the Indian Ocean has been dispatched for the rescue mission,” a Defence spokesman said here.

The Indian Navy commander is in the south Indian Ocean, approximately 1,900 nautical miles from Perth in Australia, and the Australian Rescue Coordination centre at Canberra is coordinating the rescue mission in conjunction with many agencies including the Australian Defence Department and the Indian Navy, he said quoting information received from organisers.

He was in 3rd position and has sailed over 10,500 nautical miles in the last 84 days, since commencement of the race on July 1.

According to a report issued from the Les Sables d’Olonne, France Friday night, the 70 knot winds and 14 metre high seas have left the yachts of Indian Navy’s Tomy and Ireland’s Gregor McGuckin dismasted, and have twice knocked down the yacht of second-placed Dutchman Mark Slats.

Both McGuckin and Slats report that they are okay, but 39-year-old Tomy, a commander in the Indian Navy making his second solo circumnavigation, has been injured, it had said.

It had also said other entrants were asked to make towards Tomy’s position if possible, and added that the weather was extreme.

The nearest yacht happens to be that of Gregor McGuckin’s Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance, some 90 miles to the southwest of Tomy’s Thuriya, but she too was dismasted in the same storm.

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