Solo yacht racer injured and adrift

Charlene Craig
September 26, 2018

The mast of Abhilash Tomy's yacht Thuriya broke off when it was rolled in a storm on Friday and the yachtsman suffered what he described as a "severe back injury".

According to situation report, an Australian Fisheries vessel Osiris, which has a medical officer and one-bed infirmery on board, has left for the location.

In its efforts to rescue Indian Navy Commander Abhilash Tomy, who now lies injured in his sailing vessel in the south of Indian Ocean, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the officer would be rescued French vessel Osiris in the next 16 hours. "He is conscious and doing okay".

"Indian Naval stealth Frigate, INS Satpura operating in the Indian Ocean has been dispatched for the rescue mission", a Defence spokesman said here.

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He was located in the south Indian Ocean, about 1900 nautical miles from Perth and 2700 nautical miles from Kanyakumari. Later, it was an Indian Navy P-8I aircraft that was launched from Mauritius on Saturday night and was the first to spot Thuriya at 2 am on Sunday.

Australia Sunday joined an global mission to rescue an injured Indian sailor stranded in the Indian Ocean while competing in the round-the-world Golden Globe Race. After being hit by a rough weather and sea condition, Tomy's one-man sailboat, the Thuriya, lost its mast in the storm.

Tomy was a part of the support crew during 2008-10 for the first Indian solo circumnavigation by Donde.

Thuriya's mast was broken about 1,900 miles southwest of Perth, Australia "at the extreme limit of immediate rescue range", they said in a series of media statements.

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The Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Canberra, Australia, is in charge of the rescue operation. He is not in distress but has asked for a controlled evacuation from his yacht.

The exact nature of Tomy's injuries will be revealed only after he reaches Amsterdam Island on Tuesday, said Commander Neil Manjooran, who looks after the navy's sailing activities and is coordinating with the GGR. "We also know he's having difficulty keeping fluids down", Gaden said.

The spokesperson further said that while he was being rescued by the French vessel, an Indian Aircraft was continuously keeping a watch over the boat.

The 2018 Golden Globe Race departed Les Sables d'Olonne, France, on July 1. Entrants can sail using yachts and equipment that were available when Sir Robin Knox-Johnston raced in 1968-69.

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The officer was taking part in a round-the-world race by solo sailors - the Golden Globe Race, which eschews modern gizmos like Global Positioning System.

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