After three days of a massive global search and rescue effort, Commander Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy was rescued by a French shipping vessel which was the first to reach the location on Monday morning.
“Cdr Tomy has been rescued by Osiris. He is conscious and safe. The rescue efforts were delayed due to 8-10 metre waves and heavy winds,” a Navy official said.
An Indian Navy P-8I maritime patrol aircraft had reached the location in the morning to coordinate the final rescue efforts.
Osiris, which has a medical officer and one bed infirmary on board, had launched Zodiac boats to reach Cdr Tomy and he was picked up on a stretcher. The ship is now heading to rescue another sailor, Gregor McGuckin from Ireland, who was also participating in the Golden Globe Race (GGR) 2018, and whose boat too has been de-masted due to bad weather.
Later, Osiris will rendezvous with Australian Naval ship HMAS Ballarat which is on the way from Perth.
Cdr Tomy suffered a severe back injury after the mast of his boat,Thuriya, was broken last Friday, due to extremely rough weather and sea conditions, while participating in the historic GGR 2018 which commenced on July 01, 2018.
On Sunday morning, an Indian Navy P-8I aircraft operating from Mauritius visually sighted the sailing vessel Thuriya.
The Australian Rescue Coordination Centre (ARRC) at Canberra is coordinating the rescue mission in conjunction with many agencies including the Australian Defence Department and the Indian Navy. The Indian Naval Defence Attaché in Australia is camping in the regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC).
Cdr Tomy is using a portable texting unit for messaging.
Indian Naval stealth frigate, INS Satpura with a Chetak Helicopter and tanker INS Jyoti, operating in the Indian Ocean are also enroute.
Cdr Tomy is stranded in the south Indian Ocean, approximately 1,900 nautical miles from Perth, Australia and 2,700 nm from Cape Comorin near Kanyakumari.
GGR 2018 is conducted by Sir Robin Knox Johnston of the U.K. to commemorate 50 years since the world’s first solo non-stop circumnavigation undertaken by him in 1968 on board the Indian built boat, Suhaili.
Cdr Tomy is the only Indian to complete solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the globe in 2012-13 on board the Indian Naval Sailing Vessel (INSV) Mhadei, and has covered 53,000 nautical miles under sail.