Indian sailor Abhilash Tomy rescued at sea after injury

Abilhas Tomy is a Navy commander

Commander Abhilash Tomy, who is representing India in an global sailing event, has suffered serious back injury after a storm dismasted his yacht while sailing in the Indian Ocean.

Cdr Tomy is stranded in the south Indian Ocean, approximately 1,900 nautical miles (nm) from Perth and 2,700 nm from Cape Comorin near Kanyakumari.

Tomy was taking part in the Golden Globe race around the world when his yacht was damaged and its mast broken in a storm on Friday.

The Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Canberra, Australia, was in charge of the rescue operation, with Australian, French and Indian naval vessels, and other yachts from the competition racing through rough conditions to reach him.

Race officials had sent messages to Tomy with the inteniton of keeping him updated with the rescue plans.

He managed to send a message saying he has a severe back injury and is immobilised, unable to eat or drink. "Can't walk. Might need stretcher", Tomy said in a brief message on Saturday as he waited, some 3,000km from Perth.

His vessel, SV Thuriya, is stuck in a remote location in the southern Indian Ocean.

The capsized yacht Thuriya of solo sailor Abhilash Tomy
Image His boat Thuriya was demasted after it rolled during a storm

"The ship joins a P-8A Poseidon from the Adelaide-based Surveillance and Response Group [from the] Royal Australian Air Force, which has been deployed to Réunion Island, France, to assist in the search", the ADF said in a statement.

A French fisheries patrol vessel is sailing towards him and could arrive by Monday.

". The rescue mission is being coordinated with the Australian Navy. Having that", he said, and added that he was vomiting continuously and had a burning sensation in his chest. Journalist Shiv Aroor, who has been live tweeting the developments said, "Wave heights of 5-8 metres being experienced in the area right now".

According to the sailor's website, Abhilash Tomy was the first Indian to sail around the world in 2013.

The race organisers said the 36-foot yacht was "at the extreme limit of immediate rescue range".

He was in third place in the Golden Globe Race when the storm hit.

Started in 1966, the competition involves circumnavigating the globe without any modern technology except satellite communications. Most of the 11 competitors, who are still in the race, were further north and thus avoided the worst of the storm, organisers said. He had sailed over 10,500 nautical miles (nearly 20,000 km) in the 84 days since the race began on 1 July.

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