Injured India sailor awaits rescue 3,300km from Australia's coast

Security       Indian Navy in desperate hunt to find badly injured sailor far away from help at sea
       
       	        Amrita Nayak Dutta         23 September 2018

Security Indian Navy in desperate hunt to find badly injured sailor far away from help at sea Amrita Nayak Dutta 23 September 2018

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is coordinating the rescue, after Tomy's yacht was damaged in a storm during the round-the-world race.

The French fisheries patrol vessel Osiris, which carries medical support, is making her way from a position 123 miles south, but experiencing adverse seas and making only 4.1knots.

Abhilash Tomy (39) is an officer in the Indian Navy and is now competing in the 2018 Golden Globe Race which involves a gruelling 30,000-mile solo circumnavigation of the globe.

Royal Australian Navy Frigate, HMAS Ballarat, left Perth last night for the yacht's last known location.

He said all efforts are 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 south Indian Ocean.

His rescue is being monitored at Naval Headquarters in New Delhi, as well as by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre at Melbourne, Australia.

An Indian Navy aircraft, P-8i, operating from Mauritius, visually sighted the indigenously built 10-metre vessel S V Thuriya, on which 39-year old Tomy set sail on July 1, at 7:50 am on Sunday.

EPIRB stands for emergency position-indicating radio beacon and is a device used to alert search and rescue personnel to a stricken vessel's location.

Commander Abhilash Tomy’s stranded vessel Thuriya | @indiannavy  Twitter
Commander Abhilash Tomy’s stranded vessel Thuriya | @indiannavy Twitter

A former Naval officer, Commander Arun Jyoti (retd), posted on social media that Captain Alok Ananda, Yudh Seva Medal, who is commanding INS Satpura, was at sea somewhere in the Indian Ocean when he was tasked to rescue Tomy.

The Golden Globe race involves a single-handed circumnavigation of the globe - a distance of 30,000 miles (48,280km) - without using modern technology, except for satellite communications, Competitors started from France on 1 July; seven boats have so far withdrawn from the race.

Limited aircraft fuel, the vastness of the ocean and adverse weather conditions are all adding to the difficulty of the rescue operation, and Mr Tomy's grave condition does not appear to be improving.

Tomy was in the third position and had sailed almost 20,000km in the last 84 days.

Race organisers said an executive jet from Perth would reach the area of Tomy's yacht, about 3,000km south-west of the city on Sunday.

Knox-Johnston won the inaugural Golden Globe race, becoming the first person to sail solo around the world nonstop.

Mr Tomy was the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe in 2013, his website says.

Two military planes, one from Australia and one from India, flew over the yacht on Sunday to inspect its condition, but crew were unable to establish contact with Tomy. They are also banned from using modern technology such as Global Positioning System and mobile phones.

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