Australian army called in to rescue stranded Golden Globe sailor


Australia Sunday joined an worldwide mission to rescue an injured Indian sailor stranded in the Indian Ocean while competing in the round-the-world Golden Globe Race.

On Saturday, he sent a message, saying: "Extremely hard to walk, Might need stretcher, can't walk, thanks safe inside the boat". He was representing India in the Golden Globe Race 2018 (GGR) on an indigenously-built sailing vessel 'S V Thuriya'. The crew had meant to make radio contact with him early Sunday, but the batteries on Tomy's communication devices have since died, organizers said in a Facebook post.

Tomy on his boat as he set sail from France.

"He is injured inside the yacht so he can't communicate further", an Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokesman told AFP news agency. The Irish yachtsman reported that he had utilised his spinnaker pole to rig a simple jury rig but found that the alloy tube was bending in heavy gusts.

"The Indian Navy has put its might behind this rescue effort".

A French fishing vessel is also in the area, but could take several days to reach the scene.

Tomy can only be rescued by naval ships, he said.

Although he was able to reach a few cans of iced tea, Mr Tomy also communicated that he was unable to drink without vomiting and has serious burning pains in his chest.

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Tomy's vessel was dismasted in extremely rough weather and sea conditions, with wind speeds of 130 kmh.

The Indian Navy have tweeted saying that they have diverted stealth frigate INS Satpura in the Southern Indian Ocean to join the rescue mission.

India's Abhilash Tomy gestures on his boat "Thuriya" blows a kiss as he sets sails from Les Sables d'Olonne Harbour on July 1, 2018, at the start of the solo around-the-world "Golden Globe Race" ocean race in which sailors compete without high technology aides such as Global Positioning System or computers. 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.

In line with the 1968 race, skippers must navigate using paper charts and the stars, with no watermaker aboard.

Each boat also carries a sealed safety box containing a Global Positioning System and second satellite phone, but breaking the seal disqualifies a sailor from the race.

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.