Yachtsman Rescued From Indian Ocean By French Vessel


A sailor who suffered a serious back injury when his boat capsized during a solo round-the-world yacht race was rescued today.

Abhilash Tomy was pulled to safety by a French fishing vessel around 2,000 miles off the west coast of Australia.

An international operation to reach Commander Tomy was launched on Friday after the 39-year-old’s boat Thuriya rolled 360 degrees and lost its mast during a storm.

Organisers of the 30,000-mile race said the stricken sailor was “as far from help as you could possibly be”.

They shared messages from him on Twitter where he described his chest burning, vomiting and asking for a “rescue ETA”.

Phil Gaden, of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority search and rescue, had warned the rescue could be treacherous.

“It’s going to be a very difficult situation onboard,” Mr Gaden said.

“The yacht is severely damaged with gear hanging over the side.

“We do know he’s got a very severely injured back and we believe that he’s very restricted in his ability to maneuver. We also know he’s having difficulty keeping fluids down.”

The Indian yachtsman had been keeping in contact with rescue authorities through texts, but batteries on his two devices were running low.

The French crew was planning to take Commander Tomy to a research facility on Amsterdam Island 60 miles to the north. There is a doctor and small hospital on the island.