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India

Injured Indian Navy officer Abhilash Tomy rescued safely

Indian Naval officer Abhilash Tomy, who was badly injured while participating in the Golden Globe Race, was rescued safely, the Navy announced.

"Tomy rescued safely," Indian Navy announced on Twitter. 

Earlier, a Defence Spokesperson said that bad weather was creating impediments in reaching Tomy whose vessel was "rolling excessively" in the South Indian Ocean.

The vessel was located by an Indian Navy aircraft on Sunday.

"He will be picked up by French vessel Osiris shortly... Weather creating impediments," the spokesman said.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had tweeted on Sunday that Commander Tomy woukd be picked up in the next 16 hours by the French vessel.

The minister had also said she had spoken to vice-chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P regarding the condition of the injured navy officer.

"... The rescue mission is being coordinated with the Australian Navy. The injured officer shall be picked up in the next 16 hours by a French vessel Osiris," Sitharaman had said.

Tomy would to be brought on board Australian Naval ship HMAS Ballarat, which has already left Perth to rescue him, the defence spokesman said.

The Indian Naval Defence Attache in Australia has been camping in the regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) monitoring the rescue mission, he said.

Commander Tomy who had suffered a back injury Friday after his yacht was hit by a vicious storm with 14-metre-high waves mid-way across south Indian Ocean.

The spokesman said the situation was being monitored at the Naval headquarters in New Delhi, as well as by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre at Melbourne, Australia.

The Indian Navy's P8I aircraft, which flew from Mauritius in the early hours Sunday, has located the "mast broken boat rolling excessively." The aircraft remained for two hours on the task in the area and landed at Mauritius.

Tomy Sunday managed to get in touch with race organisers in France through messages and had requested for a stretcher as he could not move on his own.

He was representing India in the Golden Globe Race 2018 (GGR) on an indigenously-built sailing vessel 'S V Thuraya'.

Tomy, who became the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe in 2013, is the only Indian participating in the race that involves a gruelling 30,000-mile solo circumnavigation of the globe.

His vessel is in the south Indian Ocean, about 1,900 nautical miles from Perth in Australia.

Tomy's vessel was dismasted in extremely rough weather and sea conditions, with wind speeds of 130 kmph.

He was in the third position in the race and had sailed over 10,500 nautical miles in the last 84 days, since the race started on July 1.

A report from France on Friday night had said 70 knot winds and 14-metre-high waves have left the yachts of Tomy and Ireland's Gregor McGuckin dismasted, and twice knocked down the yacht of second-placed Dutchman Mark Slats.

Both McGuckin and Slats had reported that they are okay, but 39-year old Tomy, making his second solo circumnavigation, has been injured, it had said. 

(With PTI inputs) 

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