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Navy Commander's rescue from Indian Ocean: When 'God of life' gave a new lease of life to Abhilash Tomy

Tomy, 39, who was sailing as part of the Golden Globe Race (GGR) - a solo sailboat race around the world -- drifted in the sea for three days before he was rescued by French fishing vessel Osiris, officials said.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: September 24, 2018 23:43 IST ]

Abhilash Tomy

Indian Navy sailor Abhilash Tomy was rescued from the Indian Ocean near Australia in a multi-nation operation Monday, three days after he suffered a grievous back injury when a powerful storm hit his boat while he was on a solo race around the world.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the commander is "conscious and doing okay" after his ordeal.

Tomy, 39, who was sailing as part of the Golden Globe Race (GGR) - a solo sailboat race around the world -- drifted in the sea for three days before he was rescued by French fishing vessel Osiris, officials said.

His boat Thuriya was hit by a deadly storm, about 1,900 nautical miles from Perth, Australia, on Friday. The main mast of his boat was ripped off by around 15-metre high waves, they said.

In Egyptian mythology, Osiris is referred to as the God of life, death, the flooding of the Nile and the afterlife. Navy Commander Abhilash Tomy's mid-ocean rescue by the French fishing vessel 'Osiris' proved just that, giving the sailor a new lease of life.

Cdr Tomy's 32-feet long sailboat Thuriya first braved the wrath of the sea and gusty winds, leading to at least one toppling. The sailor may have been inside when the toppling happened, injuring his back, his mentor and race manager Cdr (retd) Dilip Donde said.

"While the vessel stabilised after the toppling, the solo occupant was far from normal. The injuries made him immobile and request for evacuation through a satellite-based communication gadget," he said.

For the next three days, Cdr Tomy drifted in the boat in the vast Indian Ocean, sans any help. The only contact with the outside world was through sporadic text messages through satellite and a GPS transmitter which gave his location to a race control room in France.

Organisers of the Golden Globe Race (GGR) contacted the Australian rescue authorities, who found out about Osiris' presence in the vicinity. It reached Thuriya two days later and rescued Cdr Tomy, in an act befitting the credentials of mythological figure.

"Osiris" was once a fishing boat from Seychelles, an island country located to the east of Africa. The boat was seized by the French Navy in 2003 and was turned into a patrol boat for France. 

Watch Full Video: Navy Commander's rescue from Indian Ocean

(With PTI inputs)

 

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