Stranded Commander Abhilash Tomy Rescued by French Vessel Osiris
Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam
Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Commander and Golden Globe Race (GGR) skipper Abhilash Tomy was rescued on Monday, 24 September, three days after he suffered a severe injury when the main mast of his boat was ripped off in a storm, officials said. He is said to be in conscious state and was pulled out on a stretcher by French Fishing Vessel Osiris, according to Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma.
Tomy was sailing his boat as part of the Golden Globe Race (GGR) – a solo 30,000-miles sailboat race around the world – when his boat was damaged in the storm about 1,900 nautical miles from Perth, Australia.
The Australian Rescue Coordination Centre at Canberra was coordinating the rescue mission in cooperation with many agencies, including the Australian Defence Department and the Indian Navy.
The naval commander’s father PC Tomy told Hindustan Times that he was conscious but tired and dehydrated.
Every Indian Praying for His Quick Recovery: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi enquiring about Tomy’s health, in a tweet said, “spoke to @abhilashtomy and enquired about his well being. Every Indian is praying for his quick recovery. I also compliment the teams that were involved in his rescue. I have fond memories of my meeting with Abhilash, when he came with the team of INSV Tarini.”
An Indian Navy aircraft had established visual contact with his yacht on Sunday, 23 September. Tomy was badly injured while participating in the Golden Globe Race – his boat “rolling excessively” in the south Indian Ocean, a defence spokesman told PTI.
Australian and French ships were close to the Naval Commander’s location and had launched a joint rescue mission. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday tweeted that he would be rescued in the next 16 hours.
Located by Indian Navy Aircraft
The Indian Navy's P8I aircraft, which flew from Mauritius in the early hours of Sunday, located the boat. The organisers also posted the same picture on Sunday.
The defence spokesperson had said all efforts were being made to rescue Commander Tomy who had suffered a back injury on Friday after his yacht was hit by a vicious storm with 14-metre-high waves mid-way across the south Indian Ocean.
"INS Satpura and INS Jyoti are heading at top speed to reach Tomy," the Spokesperson of the Navy had said.
He had said the situation was being monitored at Naval Headquarters in New Delhi, as well as by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre at Melbourne, Australia. Australian Navy vessel HMAS Ballarat was on the way to reach Tomy, he added.
‘Severe Back Injury’
The officials were put on alert when after the storm, Tomy sent a text message saying: "ROLLED. DISMASTED. SEVERE BACK INJURY. CANNOT GET UP", reported CNN.
However, he later sent another text saying that he has activated his live location: "ACTIVATED EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon). CANT WALK. MIGHT NEED STRETCHER.".
The Indian Navy's P8I aircraft located the boat on Sunday.
According to CNN, the organisers also said Tomy was able to convey to them that he heard the aircraft flying through.
An executive jet from Perth, Australia was also dispatched in order to assess the damage to THURIYA, the report added. They, however, were not able to contact Tomy as his communication devices had also died, organisers said in a Facebook post.
Australian, Indian and French navies all sent vessels to assist.