Nearly 24 hours after an Indian Navy officer Abhilash Tomy was injured when his vessel was hit by a vicious storm mid-way across the south Indian Ocean while taking part in the Golden Globe Race (GGR), rescue operations on Saturday were stepped up and Tomy has been in communication with the Race Control at France through messages.
The Race Control has been relaying messages to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Australia, according to the Indian Navy. Indian Golden Globe Race skipper Tomy has requested for stretcher as he is not able to move on his own.
Earlier, the rescue efforts led by the Australian Defence Forces were underway off Perth, Australia, to find 39-year old Tomy who is a serving Indian Naval Flying Officer. Golden Globe Race is a sailing race around the world that started on July 1 from France.
During the storm, Tomy got dismasted and suffered a back injury. According to the Indian Navy, Commander Tomy is representing India in the GGR 2018 on an indigenously built sailing vessel `Thuriya`. The yacht is in the south Indian Ocean.
The GGR is a race to sail around the globe. He suffered a back injury on Friday after the yacht was dismasted due to extremely rough weather and sea condition in the Indian Ocean.
"Commander Abhilash Tomy KC of the Indian Navy, representing India in the Golden Globe Race 2018 (GGR) on an indigenously built sailing vessel `Thuriya` was dismasted and suffered a back injury on Friday. He is in the south Indian Ocean, approximately 1,900 nautical miles from Perth, Australia, and 2700 nm (approx 5020 km on the ground) from Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari)," Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma confirmed.
Captain Sharma further informed that rescue efforts, led by Australian defence forces, are underway and the Indian Navy has also dispatched stealth frigate INS Satpura to find the officer.
"The Australian Rescue Coordination Centre at Canberra is coordinating the rescue mission in conjunction with many agencies including the Australian Defence Department and the Indian Navy", the spokesperson said.
"All out efforts are being made to rescue Commander Abhilash Tomy. Indian Naval stealth frigate, INS Satpura with a Chetak Helicopter and tanker INS Jyoti mission deployed/operating in the Indian Ocean have been dispatched for the rescue mission," he added.
Commander Tomy, in his last message via satellite phone, had indicated that he was safe on the boat but was immobile due to a back injury. The naval officer is the only Indian to have circumnavigated the globe non-stop on the legendary sail Yacht INSV Mhadei. He was awarded Kirti Chakra in 2013 by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. He is also a recipient of the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award.