The Indian Navy has launched search and rescue operations after an officer suffered injuries when his yacht was hit by a storm in the 2018 Golden Globe circumnavigation race in the South Indian Ocean, approximately 1,900 nautical miles from Perth, Australia.

Commander Abhilash Tomy, an Indian Naval Flying Officer, is the only Indian participating in the race that involves 30,000-mile solo circumnavigation of the globe. He became the first Indian to have circumnavigated the globe in 2013.

Tomy is sailing on an indigenously built sailing vessel called Thuriya. He has sailed over 10,500 nautical miles since the race began in July. He was on the third position in the race, The Indian Express reported.

The rough weather has left the yachts of Tomy and Ireland’s Gregor McGuckin dismasted, race organisers said on Friday. While McGuckin was reported to be okay, Tomy has suffered back injury. “A CODE RED ALERT was issued after Race HQ received his message at 12:09 Universal Time Coordinated today: ROLLED. DISMASTED. SEVERE BACK INJURY. CANNOT GET UP,” it said.

The Indian Navy said INS Satpura has been deployed for the rescue mission. The Australian Rescue Coordination centre at Canberra was also coordinating the rescue mission with the Australian Defence Department and the Indian Navy.

“Thank you for your support and concern in these trying times,” Tomy’s Twitter handle said. “Abhilash has sustained some serious back injuries, however, he says he’s safe inside the boat. Indian Navy is doing their best as they always have. His tracker is working. He has activated the EPIRB. Help is on its way.”

EPIRB – emergency position-indicating radio beacon – is a device used to alert search and rescue personnel about an affected vessel’s location.