Commander Tomy of Indian Navy rescued by French vessel

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Thuriya got dismasted in rough weather condition on Friday when Abhilash was in the South Indian Ocean, approximately 1,900 nautical miles WSW from Perth and about 2,700 nm from Cape Comorin.

The Indian Navy said that 39-year-old Abhilash Tomy hurt his back and was unable to move after his yacht lost both its masts during a storm on Friday as he was competing in the Golden Globe Race.

The injured Indian officer has been rescued by a French vessel. The yacht is in the south Indian Ocean.

He was then able to communicate by texting on a satellite phone that only had a battery life of a few days, Sky News reported.

He is conscious but exhausted and dehydrated, said the officer's father, PC Tomy, in Kochi.

The Indian navy spokesman was quoted by NDTV as saying that Tomy sent a "ping" with his Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, or EPIRB, when aircraft approached his position.

'The French fisheries patrol vessel Osiris reached Tomy's yacht at 0530 UTC today and Australian and Indian long-range P8 Orion reconnaissance aircraft are circling overhead.

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

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority's (AMSA) search and rescue operations manager Alan Lloyd said there was still only limited information available about Tomy's condition, but help was getting closer. "CHEST BURNING", he said.

"We are getting reports of long swells, six to eight metre tall waves, heavy rain and clouding", Captain Sharma said.

Cdr Tomy sustained severe injury after his yacht was hit by a vicious storm mid-way across the southern Indian Ocean while taking part in the Golden Globe Race.

Race organisers continue to work closely with The Australian Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre and are extremely grateful for the efforts being made by all involved.

Tomy became the first Indian to have circumnavigated the globe in 2013.

He was participating in the Golden Globe round-the-world race. Most of the 11 competitors, who are still in the race, were further north and thus avoided the worst of the storm, organisers said. The Kirti Chakra awardee was in the 3rd position, out of 11 global participants, and had sailed over 10,500 nautical miles in the last 84 days which started on July 1 from Les Sables-d'Olonne in France.

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.

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