NEW DELHI: Commander Abhilash Tomy, who was under medical observation in Ile Amsterdam, a French island in the Indian Ocean, was brought to Visakhapatnam onboard INS Satpura on Saturday, October 6.
Commander Tomy has been shifted to INHS Kalyani, the naval hospital of Eastern Naval Command (ENC) for further observation and medical assistance. Following his arrival, Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command interacted with Tomy and enquired about his health and the rescue operation.
He was rescued in an international effort after his boat was seriously damaged in a storm in the Indian Ocean during the round-the-world Golden Globe race and he had to be evacuated.
On September 21, the mast of his yacht Thuriya broke when the boat was caught in a violent storm in the south Indian Ocean, approximately 1,900 nautical miles west of Perth, Australia.
Sailing more than 5,000 kilometres south of Kanyakumari, Commander Tomy's boat had been hammered by 14-metre-high waves with wind speeds touching 150 kilometres per hour.
Tomy, the 39-year-old naval officer suffered a severe back injury and dropped out of the race. The Australian Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra coordinated the rescue mission in conjunction with many agencies including the Australian Defence Department and the Indian Navy.
Commander Tomy had said that he survived in the storm, because of his sailing skills and naval training.
“The sea was unbelievably rough. Me & my boat Thuriya were pitched against nature’s might. I survived because of my sailing skills, the soldier bit in me and my Naval training cut-in for that fight – Cdr Abhilash Tomy. Very thankful to #IndianNavy & all who rescued me,” Tomy was quoted as saying in the Indian Navy spokesman’s tweet.
The Indian Navy launched ‘Operation Raksham’ and dispatched INS Satpura with a Chetak helicopter and tanker INS Jyoti along with an aircraft P8i to rescue the commander. Tomy was first sighted by the Indian Aircraft operating from Mauritius. Tomy was rescued by French fishing vessel Osiris after which he was shifted to Amsterdam Islands. INS Satpura after fuelling from INS Jyoti arrived off the Ile Amsterdam and safely evacuated Cdr Tomy using the ship’s helicopter on September 28.
Commander Tomy is the first Indian to circumnavigate the world in 2013 and he was the only Indian who was participating in the GGR, which is supposed to involve an exhausting 30,000-mile solo circumnavigation around the globe. Commander Tomy was in the third position in the race and had sailed over 10, 500 nautical miles in the last 84 days, since it began on July 1.
Image Credit: The Indian Express