A Naval commander, who was injured after his yacht was hit by a storm mid-way across the southern Indian Ocean while taking part in the Golden Globe Race, will be rescued in the next 16 hours, the Indian Navy said on Sunday. Abhilash Tomy was spotted by a team of the Indian Navy earlier in the day.
Tomy will be picked up by the French vessel Osiris. “Thereafter likely to rendezvous Australian Naval ship HMAS Ballarat, which has left Perth to bring him,” said the Navy. “Earliest arrival of our ship, INS Satpura, in current location can be only by Friday.” His vessel is in the South Indian Ocean, about 1,900 nautical miles (3,518 km) from Perth in Australia.
Tomy suffered a back injury on Friday after his yacht was de-masted in a severe storm with 14-metre-high waves. The Navy’s P8I aircraft, which flew from Mauritius early on Sunday, located the “mast broken boat rolling excessively”.
Tomy had responded by ping on Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon as the aircraft was flying over him. Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon is a device which alerts rescue services in case of an accident at sea.
He sent a satellite text message that was received on Saturday, saying: “ACTIVATED EPIRB. CANT WALK. MIGHT NEED STRETCHER”, Golden Globe Race organisers said.
Tomy, who was the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe in 2013, was the only Indian participating in the race, which involves a 30,000-mile solo circumnavigation of the globe.