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International Rescue Mission Launched for Injured Indian Sailor


A multinational rescue mission is underway to help an injured Indian sailor stranded in the southern Indian Ocean more than 3,700 kilometers off Australia's west coast.

Abhilash Tomy, a 39-year-old Indian naval commander, was competing in a round-the-world Golden Globe Race when his boat was hit by a major storm 82 days into the race.

According to race organizers, Tomy was in third place when his 36-foot sailboat Thuriya rolled in the storm, breaking its mast and severely injuring Tomy.

Organizers of the race said Tomy managed to send a text message saying he had suffered a back injury and was immobilized on his bunk, unable to reach vital communication equipment.

Two military planes from India and Australia flew over the Thuriya Sunday to assess the damage. The Australian and Indian navies have sent ships to rescue Tomy and a French fishing patrol boat has also joined the effort.

But Tomy's position is so remote that none of the ships is expected to reach him before Monday or Tuesday.

Irish competitor Gregor McGuckin, whose vessel also was damaged in the same storm, made the needed repairs and was trying to reach Tomy, who is about 90 kilometers away from his position.

The Golden Globe Race is a nonstop, single-handed sailing race that involves a gruelling 48,000-kilometer solo circumnavigation of the globe. No modern equipment is allowed except for communication devices.

Competitors set sail from France on July 1.