Golden Globe Race (GGR) skipper and Indian Naval officer, Commander Abhilash Tomy KC, who suffered a back injury at the sea after the yacht he was sailing in got dismasted, is being brought back.
According to the Indian Navy, Commander Tomy is in communication with the Race Control at France through messages, which is relaying messages to JRCC Australia.
Commander Tomy has requested for a stretcher as he is not able to move on his own, the Indian Navy has said.
Commander Tomy is representing India in the GGR 2018 on an indigenously built sailing vessel 'Thuriya'. The yacht is in the south Indian Ocean. The GGR is a race to sail around the globe. He suffered a back injury on September 21 after the yacht was dismasted due to extremely rough weather and sea condition in the Indian Ocean.
According to situation report, an Australian Fisheries vessel Osiris, which has a medical officer and one-bed infirmary on board, has left for the location. A Royal Australian Navy Ship is likely to depart for the location, with an estimated time arrival of 4-5 days. A P-8I aircraft will be available from September 23 onwards, while, a civil aircraft is being tasked to be in the area by around 2:30 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
"Commander Abhilash Tomy KC of the Indian Navy, representing India in the Golden Globe Race 2018 (GGR) on an indigenously built sailing vessel 'Thuriya' was dismasted and suffered a back injury yesterday. He is in the south Indian Ocean, approximately 1900 nautical miles from Perth, Australia and 2700 nm (approx 5020 km on the ground) from Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari)," Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma had confirmed.
Captain Sharma had informed that rescue efforts, led by Australian defence forces, were underway and the Indian Navy had also dispatched stealth frigate INS Satpura to find the officer.
"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", the spokesperson had said.
"All out efforts are being made to rescue Commander Abhilash Tomy. Indian Naval stealth frigate, INS Satpura with a Chetak Helicopter and tanker INS Jyoti mission deployed/operating in the Indian Ocean have been dispatched for the rescue mission," he added.
Commander Tomy, in his last message via satellite phone, had indicated that he was safe on the boat but was immobile due to a back injury.
The naval officer is the only Indian to have circumnavigated the globe non-stop on the legendary sail Yacht INSV Mhadei. He was awarded Kirti Chakra in 2013 by then President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. He is also a recipient of the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award.