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Rescue team reaches Abhilash Tomy

Melbourne/Kochi: As massive rescue mission is progressing to bring back injured Indian Navy Commander Abhilash Tomy, the Navy’s P8I (Poseidon Eight India) aircraft has reached the location of the sailor, Manorama News reported on Sunday.

According to the report, Tomy is responding to radio communications. The area is witnessing heavy rain and wind which is is reportedly at 55 kmph.

The rescue team, which landed in Mauritius on Sunday, has essential medicines and food for the sailor.

Cdr Tomy sustained severe injury after his yacht was hit by a vicious storm mid-way across the southern Indian Ocean while taking part in the Golden Globe Race. He is in touch with race organisers in France through messages, Defence spokesman D K Sharma said on Saturday.

Cdr Tomy is in communication with the Race Control at France through messages. Race control is relaying messages to JRCC (Joint Rescue Coordination Centre) Australia. He has requested for a stretcher as he is not able to move on his own,” the defence spokesman quoted the Australian Joint Rescue Control Centre (JRCC) as saying in a release.

Tomy, representing India in the Golden Globe Race 2018 (GGR) on an indigenously built sailing vessel ‘S V Thuriya’, suffered a back injury on Friday after his yacht was dismasted in the severe storm that raised 14-metre-high waves.

Another race contestant ‘S V Hanley Energy Endurance’ was also heading towards ‘S V Thuriya’ though it had suffered damage of its own in Friday night’s inclement weather.

An Australian fisheries vessel ‘Osiris’ is also heading towards location.

‘Osiris’ has a medical officer and one bed infirmary on-board, it said.

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.

The Indian Navy had earlier said all efforts were being made to rescue the officer.

“All-out efforts are being made to rescue Abhilash Tomy. Indian Naval stealth Frigate ‘INS Satpura’ operating in the Indian Ocean has been dispatched for the rescue mission,” a defence spokesman said in Kochi.

Tomy’s vessel is in the south Indian Ocean, approximately 3,518 km from Perth in Australia and 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, he said, quoting information received from the organisers.

Tomy’s vessel was dismasted in extremely rough weather and sea conditions, with wind speeds of 130 kmh. He was in third position in the race and has sailed over 10,500 nautical miles (19,446 km) in the last 84 days, since commencement of the race on July 1.

(With inputs from PTI)

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