Rescue off WA coast for stranded sailor

Pauline Gross
September 24, 2018

Race Chairman Dom McIntyre issued a statement this evening, saying that Mr Tomy was most likely "incapacitated" considering that he has not made any further contact. "Indian Naval stealth frigate, INS Satpura with a Chetak Helicopter and tanker INS Jyoti operating in the Indian Ocean have been dispatched for the rescue mission".

An alumnus of the National Defence College, Delhi, Mead is reported to have sent a message to his course-mates, saying, "We will find your man". An Indian Naval defence attache' in Australia is camping in regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), the navy sources said.

Organisers said his primary satellite phone was damaged while he could not get to a second satellite phone and another YB3 texting unit in his emergency kit.

The Indian Navy on Sunday announced that its officer Abhilash Tomy, who sustained injuries while participating in the Golden Globe Race 2018, will be picked up by French vessel Osiris in the next 16 hours.

Abhilash Tomy, 39, suffered a serious back injury when his 10 metre vessel Thuriya was de-masted in extreme weather during the Golden Globe Race.

Race organisers had informed earlier that other participants had been asked to move towards Tomy's position.

In rough post-storm conditions in the southern Indian Ocean, Irish sailor Gregor McGuckin is heroically attempting to reach seriously-injured fellow competitor Abilash Tomy of India in the dismasted Thuriya 90 miles away, despite McGuckin's own boat Hanley Energy Endurance sustaining a dismasting in the same storm on Friday writes W M Nixon.

The rescue team from French fishing vessle Osiris boarding Thuriya
The rescue team from French fishing vessle Osiris boarding Thuriya

The Australian authorities have also despatched the Anzac class frigate HMAS Ballerat from Fremantle overnight. McGuckin could reach Tomy on Monday.

Tomy on his boat as he set sail from France. The race is by invitation only and requires prior ocean sailing experience of at least 8,000 miles and solo experience of at least 2,000 miles.

The sailors have the ability to send 100-character text reports via satellite twice a day and to use a satellite phone to make a weekly safety check.

Race organizers also track the boats via Global Positioning System - though sailors can not see the data.

The Golden Globe Race involves a gruelling 30,000-mile solo circumnavigation of the globe in yachts similar to those used in the first race 50 years ago, with no modern technology allowed except the communications equipment.

Tomy's boat is a replica of Robin Knox-Johnston's yacht Suhaili. His trip took 312 days and he was the only finisher of the nine skippers who started the race.

Late Friday, Commander Tomy managed to relay a message on his SatPhone indicating his condition and seeking help, though he was safe.

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