- Commander Abhilash Tomy stranded near Australia during sailing race
- Located by Navy aircraft today, to be picked up by French vessel tomorrow
- Commander Tomy injured, his yacht's mast broken in storm
An Indian Navy officer who was stranded in the Indian Ocean near Australia after being injured during a sailing race will be rescued within the next 16 hours by a French vessel, the Defence Ministry said on Sunday.
The yacht of Commander Abhilash Tomy, who was participating in the Golden Globe Race, was located by an Indian Navy aircraft "rolling excessively" in the South Indian Ocean, a Defence spokesperson had said earlier in the day. The location in the south Indian Ocean was about 1,900 nautical miles from Perth in Australia.
A French vessel Osiris has offered to rescue Commander Tomy from his location, the Defence Ministry said. Then an Australian Naval ship HMAS Ballarat, which has left Perth to bring him, will pick him up.
Indian Navy's own ship INS Satpura is likely to arrive at his current location only by Friday, the Defence Ministry said.
The first Indian to circumnavigate the globe in 2013, Commander Tomy was the only Indian participating in the race that involves a gruelling 30,000-mile solo circumnavigation of the globe.
He was stranded after he suffered a back injury Friday as his yacht was hit by a vicious storm with 14-metre-high waves mid-way across south Indian Ocean.
His rescue is being monitored at Naval Headquarters in New Delhi, as well as by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre at Melbourne, Australia.
The Indian Navy's P8I aircraft, which flew from Mauritius in the early hours Sunday, had located the boat with its mast broken.
"Commander Tomy responded by ping on EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) as the aircraft was flying over him," the Defence spokesperson said.
But heavy rain and a stormy sea meant Commander Tomy could only be rescued by a ship.
Commander Tomy was representing India in the Golden Globe Race 2018 (GGR) on an indigenously-built sailing vessel 'S V Thuraya'.
(With inputs from PTI)