Stranded naval commander Abhilash Tomy rescued by French vessel, says Indian Navy

Navy commander Abhilash Tomy rescued in conscious state

Navy commander Abhilash Tomy rescued in conscious state

An worldwide rescue effort is underway to save a seriously injured solo yacht racer whose vessel is stricken in a remote part of the Indian Ocean, 3,200 kilometres off the coast of Western Australia. "The sailor, an officer in the Indian Navy is understood to have suffered a serious back injury when his ten metre vessel, "Thuriya" was de-masted in extreme weather", the Australian Navy tweeted.

Rescue teams from various nations, including India, had raced towards Tomy, but the French fishing vessel Osiris reached him first. "He is conscious and doing okay".

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said Commander Tomy would be transferred to a nearby Indian Ocean island, Ile Amsterdam, for medical treatment.

Abhilash Tomy's boat Thuriya lost its mast during a storm as he took part of the round-the-world solo Golden Globe yacht race. On Saturday morning, the Indian Aircraft P8i operating from Mauritius sighted the indigenously-built vessel on which Tomy had set sail in July, at 7:50 am on Sunday.

Race officials had sent messages to Tomy informing him of the latest updates to the rescue plan, but were concerned when he no longer returned their messages, suggesting he was possibly "now too weak to transmit", they said. "The Indian armed forces are supporting the search with an additional P-8 aircraft". The Navy officer, who had earlier dismasted in extremely rough weather and sea conditions, was in communication with the Race Control at France through messages.

Later, Osiris will rendezvous with Australian Naval ship HMAS Ballarat, which is on the way from Perth.

The rescue mission was jointly coordinated between Indian and Australian Navy.

A spokesman with the Indian Navy told Sky News that the 39-year-old is "conscious" and "can talk".

Indian Navy's stealth frigate INS Satpura with a Chetak Helicopter and tanker INS Jyoti, operating in the Indian Ocean, are also enroute.

"A radio briefing was held between the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre on Reunion Island, a doctor located on Amsterdam Island, and the master of the Osiris before the French crew boarded Thuriya from Zodiac inflatable boats to administer immediate first-aid and assess his condition", the statement said.

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

Mr Tomy had been competing in the arduous Sunday Times Golden Globe around-the-world solo race.

Cdr Tomy is stranded in the south Indian Ocean, approximately 1,900 nautical miles (nm) from Perth and 2,700 nm from Cape Comorin near Kanyakumari. He had sailed over 10,500 nautical miles (nearly 20,000 km) in the 84 days since the race began on 1 July.

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