Naval officer Abhilash Tomy, stranded in Indian Ocean, rescued after 3 days
- Author: Rogelio Becker Sep 25, 2018,
Sep 25, 2018, 1:03
The Thuriya was battered by 70-knot (130kmph) winds and waves 14 metres high.
The French fisheries patrol vessel, OSIRIS, was able to reach Tomy's yacht on Monday morning, before transporting him to Amsterdam Island where he will undergo health tests.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the commander is "conscious and doing okay".
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said Commander Tomy would be transferred to a nearby Indian Ocean island, Ile Amsterdam, for medical treatment.
Extremely choppy seas and low visibility are hindering global efforts to rescue a celebrated Indian sailor stuck over 3,500 km off Australia after a storm Friday damaged his boat and left him with an incapacitating back injury.
"Can't walk. Might need stretcher", Tomy said in a brief message on Saturday as he waited, some 3,000km from Perth.
This triggered a multinational search and rescue operation involving vessels from India, Mauritius, France and Australia, which ended with Tomy being located.
An Indian Naval defence attache' in Australia is camping in regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), the navy sources said.
French rescue ship Osiris finally reached Tomy today afternoon and picked him up.
Mr Tomy had been taking part in an around the world solo sailing competition - the Golden Globe Race - when his yacht Thuriya lost its mast in a storm on Friday.
Knox-Johnston won the inaugural Golden Globe race, becoming the first person to sail solo around the world nonstop.
"All indications are the vessel is upright and floating high in the water but at any moment, a wave could push one of the damaged masts into the vessel and compromise its integrity", Phil Gaden, a search and rescue official, told reporters in Canberra, the Australian capital.
Rescuers have saved an Indian yachtsman hit by a storm that left him badly injured with his boat drifting at sea for more than two days in rough conditions. Both sent rescue ships but were positioned further away than the French vessel.
Mr Tomy added, in a second text message to race organisers: "Can move toes".
Gregor McGuckin, from Dublin, set sail from Les Sables d'Olonne on 1 July, however he contacted race organisers saying that he got "rolled" in the Indian Ocean and could not continue in the race.