Search and rescue operations by Indian Navy as well as the Australian Defence Forces are underway to find Golden Globe Race Commander Abhilash Tommy, who was dismasted and suffered a back injury in extremely rough weather and sea condition, with wind speeds of 130 kmph and 10 metre high waves, off Perth Friday.
The 39-year-old Indian Golden Globe Race skipper Tommy, who is serving as Indian Naval Officer, is in the south Indian Ocean, approximately 1900 nautical miles from Perth, Australia.
While Indian Navy stealth frigate INS Satpura, operating in the Indian Ocean, has been diverted for the rescue mission, the Australian Rescue Coordination centre at Canberra is coordinating the rescue mission in conjunction with many agencies including the Australian Defence Department and the Indian Navy. “Indian Navy stealth frigate INS Satpura, mission deployed in Southern Indian Ocean diverted for the rescue mission. All efforts by Indian Navy to get in touch with Cdr Abhilash Tommy SC are on. We are in contact with MRCC Australia and have diverted our ships too,” Indian Navy spokesperson said in a tweet. Tommy is expected to be safe, according to Indian Navy.
According to a SITREP received from JRCC Australia, he has requested for a stretcher as he is not able to move on his own. He is in communication with the Race Control at France through messages which is relaying the message further to JRCC Australia.
Australian Fisheries vessel Osiris with a medical officer and one-bed infirmary onboard is also heading towards the location.
Tommy is representing India in the Golden Globe Race 2018 (GGR) on an indigenously built sailing vessel ‘Thuriya’. He was on the third position, out of the 18 international participants, and has sailed over 10,500 nautical miles in the last 84 days, since the commencement of the race on July 1, 2018.
Thank you for your support and concern in these trying times. 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.
— Abhilash Tommy (@abhilashtomy) September 22, 2018
According to the report issued from the Les Sables d’Olonne, France, the 70 knot winds and 14 metre high seas left the yachts of Indian Navy’s Abhilash Tommy and Ireland’s Gregor McGuckin dismasted. McGuckin reported that he was okay, but Tommy got injured.
“A CODE RED ALERT was issued after Race HQ received his message at 12:09 UTC today: ROLLED. DISMASTED. SEVERE BACK INJURY. CANNOT GET UP,” the report said.
— Abhilash Tommy (@abhilashtomy) September 20, 2018
Tommy, who became the first Indian to have circumnavigated the globe in 2013, is the only Indian participating in the Golden Globe Race that involves a gruelling 30,000-mile solo circumnavigation of the globe. The adventurous event began in July this year from France.