Injured Indian Navy naval officer Abhilash Tomy will be rescued from the sea by the French vessel Osiris, in the next 16 hours. Thereafter, he is likely to be taken to R/V Australian Naval ship HMAS Ballarat, which has left Perth to bring him.
@abhilashtomy shall be picked up in next 16 hrs by french vessel Osiris. Thereafter likely to R/V @Australian_Navy HMAS Ballarat, which has left Perth to bring him. Earliest arrival of our ship #INSSatpura in current location later @DefenceMinIndia@nsitharaman @ggr2018official— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) September 23, 2018
Abhilash suffered a back injury when he was sailing on the vessel ‘Thuriya’, representing India in the Golden Globe Race 2018. Thuriya got dismasted in rough weather condition on Friday when Abhilash was in the South Indian Ocean, approximately 1,900 nautical miles WSW from Perth and about 2,700 nm from Cape Comorin.
“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. Continuous watch over the boat is being maintained by Indian Navy and RAAF aircraft till the rescue is completed,” said a note released by the Indian Navy.
The Indian Navy ship INS Satpura is expected to arrive at Abhilash’s location only by Friday. “All our efforts are being made to rescue commander Abhilash Tomy. Capability of our P8i has been a humongous force multiplier who has given us and the Australian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre a huge input into the state of Thuriya for planning purposes,” the note said.
Abhilash in his last text message has indicated that he is safe on the boat, however, is immobile due to the back injury.
Abhilash became popular when he completed a solo circumnavigation across the world under sail in 150 days. This was back in 2012 when he sailed on Mhadei, his boat, and faced the seas. “This has not only been the most thrilling experience of my life, but it was also something that I had wished would never end,” Abhilash had told in an interview after the journey.
“We (Mhadei and I) faced many difficulties, but there was a bliss in the solitary existence that made returning undesirable,” he said.