Indian Navy Commander Abhilash Tomy who was rescued mid-sea by a French vessel in an immobile state is now undergoing treatment at Ile Amsterdam, an island in the southern Indian Ocean. Recalling the traumatising days when he was stuck in the sea alone with an injured back, he said that the sea was unbelievably rough.
"I and my boat Thuriya were pitched against the nature's might. I survived because of my sailing skills, the soldier bit in me and my Naval training cut-in for that fight," he said.
He also thanked the rescue efforts by the Indian Navy to save him from the troubled sea. "I am very thankful to the Indian Navy and all who rescued me," he said on Wednesday from a hospital where he is undergoing treatment.
Indian Naval stealth frigate INS Satpura is on way to Ile Amsterdam to meet the injured Navy officer. They are likely to meet him on Thursday. The 39-year-old Tomy, a Kirti Chakra awardee, was brought to the island on Tuesday after being rescued by a French vessel.
He was stuck mid-sea after his non-motorised sailing yacht got damaged in a storm on Friday while competing in the Golden Globe Race. He was placed third in the race when he faced the storm. He has suffered some "blunt injuries" but there is no sign of permanent damage to any body part.
He drifted for nearly three days in his 32-feet long yacht, Thuriya before vessels and naval assets in the vicinity rescued him. Tomy had texted through satellite-based device requesting for evacuation stating his back was injured and he was unable to move.
A Navy official had said that their priority was to move Tomy to Mauritius, where the Indian Navy has physical presence. "He will be taken a hospital, and if permitted he would be flown back to India. The decision on shifting him back to India will be taken only after his thorough medical check-up at Mauritius," he said.
Videos and pictures of Tomy's evacuation show Tomy being pulled out on a stretcher from the cabin of Thuriya and then carefully lowered into a small raft which had come to fetch him from the Osiris located nearby.
He was participating in the Golden Globe Race, where 11 participants are using 1968 vintage boats and technology to circumnavigate solo and non-stop. The race is being held to celebrate the golden anniversary of first such solo circumnavigation in 1968.