Indian Navy sailor Abhilash Tomy, injured in the Indian Ocean, is rescued


Indian Navy officer Abhilash Tomy, adrift thousands of kilometres from dry land with a serious back injury was safely rescued from his stricken yacht Monday after a carefully-coordinated global effort. "The sailor, an officer in the Indian Navy is understood to have suffered a serious back injury when his ten metre vessel, "Thuriya" was de-masted in extreme weather", the Australian Navy tweeted.

The naval officer is in a conscious state and has been shifted to French Fishing Vessel Osiris, news agency ANI reported.

The French vessel Osiris reached Commander Tomy's yacht at 11 am Indian time as Australian and Indian P8 Poseidon aircraft kept watch from above, race organisers said.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the commander is "conscious and doing okay".

Mr Tomy will be transported to Ile Amsterdam, a tiny island in the southern Indian Ocean which has a small hospital but no airport big enough to take a fixed-wing aircraft. INS Satpura will take him to Mauritius for medical attention.

Abhilash Tomy raised the alarm on Saturday after his yacht was badly damaged in a storm about 2,175 miles west of Australia, leaving him with severe back injuries.

An Irish race competitor, Gregor McGuckin, whose own yacht was damaged in the storm, has made repairs and is attempting to cover the 150km (90 miles) separating him from Tomy's position.

AMSA, which is coordinating the search, said the crews saw that the yacht was dismasted but did not get further information about Tomy's condition.

A Royal Australian Navy Ship is likely to depart for the stricken vessel's location and is estimated to arrive after four to five days.

A spokesman for McGuckin said he is in good condition.

The yacht was in Australia's search and rescue zone 3,500 kilometres southwest of the Australian city of Perth and 3,000 kilometres southeast of the French island of Reunion, said Australian Maritime Safety Authority search and rescue officer Phil Gaden. "The P-8I was the first aircraft to have reached the area despite the lingering stormy weather and locate the Thuriya", said Indian Navy spokesperson Capt DK Sharma.

Tomy, 39, was sailing solo as part of the Golden Globe Race (GGR), which involves travelling 30,000 miles (over 48,000 km) to circumnavigate the globe.

The rescue team from French fishing vessle Osiris boarding Thuriya.

Tomy was in the third position and had sailed almost 20,000km in the last 84 days.