Rescued Navy Commander Abhilash Tomy reaches remote island in Indian Ocean, hospitalised
A day after he was rescued from the Indian Ocean off Australia, Indian sailor Abhilash Tomy, who suffered a grievous back injury while participating in the Golden Globe race, has been admitted to a hospital in a remote island, a Defence spokesman said in Kochi Tuesday.
He said the French fisheries vessel Osiris, which rescued Commander Abhilash Tomy, reached off Amsterdam isle by 9:30 AM and the sailor was subsequently transferred to the hospital there for further medical evaluation and treatment.
The French fisheries patrol boat rescued injured Abhilash Tomy, 39, and Irishman Gregor McGuckin, 32, late Monday after their boats lost masts in a storm Friday while competing in the around-the-world Golden Globe Race.
“Tomy and Gregor have been transferred ashore at “Amsterdam isle” by a medical team and have been taken to hospital for X-Ray and medical checkup,” the spokesman said.
He said Osiris will remain in the area till HMAS Ballarat (Australian warship) and INS Satpura reach the island.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which coordinated the rescues in the Australian search and rescue zone 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) southwest of the Australian city of Perth and 3,000 kilometers (1,875 miles) southeast of the French island of Reunion, said the sailors arrived at a French research station on remote Amsterdam Island on Tuesday.
“They will be assessed by a medical team before any decisions are made,” the authority said in a statement.
The station has a doctor and a small hospital where the conditions of both sailors will be assessed, said the authority’s response center manager, Alan Lloyd. Tomy had reported a back injury during the storm that had left him bedridden.
“Both sailors have been reported as well,” Lloyd told reporters. “Tomy was able to assist himself by transferring off the vessel onto the Osiris.”
Indian defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted on Monday that it was “a sense of relief to know that naval officer” Tomy was “rescued by the French fishing vessel. He’s conscious and doing okay.”
She said an Indian navy frigate would take Tomy from Amsterdam Island to Mauritius for medical attention.
Lloyd said an Australian navy frigate would reach Amsterdam Island on Friday with plans to take the two sailors to the Australian port of Fremantle.
Whether Tomy goes to Mauritius or Fremantle will depend on his medical assessment at Amsterdam Island, Lloyd said.
“At this stage, we would suggest his condition is stable, but obviously we await the final medical advice,” he said.
An Indian Armed Forces P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft flying from Mauritius helped authorities assess the conditions of the sailboats.
McGuckin lost both masts, but constructed a temporary jury-rig to get his sailboat to within a few kilometers (miles) of Tomy’s boat in a bid to offer help. McGuckin was rescued more than four hours after Tomy, an authority statement said.
Indian navy spokesman Capt. DK Sharma said Monday that Tomy was in third place in the race that began in France on July 1 when he lost his mast.
“I’m sure he would have brought laurels to the country. Unfortunately, this feat could not be completed,” Sharma said. “But we are very happy that he’s safe and sound and we’ll soon have him back.”