Media update at 21:00 UTC
There has been no further communication with Abhilash Tomy, the 39-year old Indian Golden Globe Race skipper since his dramatic text message at 12:09 UTC today: ROLLED. DISMASTED. SEVERE BACK INJURY. CANNOT GET UP.
Race organisers are working closely with the Australian Rescue Co-ordination Center in Canberra, which has issued an all ships alert and is now co-ordinating rescue efforts led by Australian Defence Forces.
The Australians are also working with French Maritime Rescue Centre based on Reunion Island in the South Indian Ocean which is attempting to source a vessel that might assist, including a French Fisheries Protection ship thought to be in the area.
Commander Tomy is a serving Naval Flying Officer in the Indian Navy which has also been alerted and is standing by to assist in the rescue.
Don McIntyre, the Race Chairman based in Les Sables d’Olonne where the Golden Globe solo non-stop round the world Race began on July 1st, commented tonight: “We are very grateful to all these international organisations for mobilising their resources so quickly and for the lead role taken by MRCC in Canberra.
The position of Tomy’s yacht Thuriya, a replica of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s yacht Suhail, winner of the first GGR 50 years ago, is some 1,900 miles south West of Perth, Western Australia at the extreme limit of immediate rescue range.
The fact that Abhilash has been unable to make contact via text or sat phone, nor set off his emergency beacon is unusual and suggests that he remains incapacitated. The only link is the tracking signal we are receiving from the yacht, but the batteries have a limited life.”
Other Golden Globe Race competitors have been alerted to the situation and offered to assist once this storm recedes. Gregor McGuckin, the subject of a CODE ORANGE alert himself following his yacht’s dismasting earlier today, is 100 miles SW of Tomy’s position, and has good communications onboard. He is reporting moderating conditions, and that all is ok and secure onboard his yacht Hanley Energy Endurance. The Irishman has also confirmed that the yacht’s engine remains operational following his 360° roll, and after he has made repairs, will inform Race HQ if and when he can head towards, Thuriya’s position.
Estonian skipper Uku Randmaa is another within range, some 450 miles to the west of Thuriya and is sailing at best speed towards her.
Dutchman Mark Slats currently 2nd overall sailing the Rustler 36 Ophen Maverick is still facing extreme conditions 230 miles to the South East of the Indian yacht, and having been knocked down several times during the day, is not in a safe position to turn back at this time.
The MRCC in Canberra will issue an update once they receive official confirmation of the air/sea rescue assets available.