Sailing skills, military training helped me survive, says Navy commander Abhilash Tomy
Champion sailor Commander Abhilash Tomy, rescued from the remotest place on the planet in the southern Indian ocean earlier this week, and now recovering from a back injury he suffered while negotiating a storm that dismasted his yacht last week, said on Wednesday that he survived the 70-hour ordeal because of his sailing skills and military training, and rated his current health as three on 10.
That didn’t stop Tomy, who was injured while participating in the world’s toughest yacht race which circumnavigates the globe, from sporting a smile in pictures released by the Indian Navy.
“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,” the Indian Navy tweeted on Wednesday, quoting the 39-year-old decorated soldier.
Tomy said he was very thankful to the Indian Navy and everyone involved in his rescue.
Tomy is currently undergoing medical treatment at a medical facility at the tiny Amsterdam Island in southern Indian Ocean.
Tomy is in a stable condition and his reports have been sent to a medical facility at Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.
“He rates his health as three on 10 as of now,” said navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma, who spoke with Tomy on Wednesday. Indian warship INS Satpura is expected to reach the island by Friday. Tomy is likely to be taken to Mauritius for further treatment if required.
Tomy was rescued by French patrol vessel Osiris in a dramatic mission.
He was then taken to Amsterdam, a 55-sq km island that is part of French territory.
Tomy suffered a debilitating back injury on September 21 after the rough seas and powerful winds pummeled Thuriya, sending it into a 360-degree spin and dismasting the 10-metre long boat built in Goa.
He was representing India in the Golden Globe Race 2018 (GGR), a punishing 30,000-mile solo circumnavigation of the globe on unpowered yachts.
When rescuers reached him, Tomy was lying on a bunk inside the yacht.
Tomy became the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe on board Mhadei -- solo, non-stop and unassisted in 2013. He was awarded India’s second-highest peace-time gallantry award, Kirti Chakra, for the feat.