Efforts are on to rescue Commander Abhilash Tomy KC, participant in the 2018 Golden Globe Race (GGR), after his boat, the Thuriya, was rolled and dismasted in a severe storm in the Southern Ocean.
According to information available on the GGR website, the incident has left Abhilash injured.
In a communication to race organizers on September 21, he said that he has a severe back injury and cannot stand up. At that time the Thuriya was 1900 miles south west of Perth, Australia.
In a subsequent update on September 22, GGR has quoted Abhilash confirming activation of the emergency beacon (EPIRB). The boat’s external YB3i unit continues to provide tracking information but the power line to the boat’s batteries has been damaged. The update which said Abhilash is on his bunk in the boat, said that he was using the portable YB3 texting unit – which is a back-up – for messaging.
The boat’s primary satellite phone has been damaged. There are additionally an aviation hand-held VHF phone, a second satellite phone and a second YB3 unit in Abhilash’s Emergency Grab Bag.
But he cannot reach it given the state he is in, the update on the GGR website said.
Last reported on this blog, Abhilash was in fourth position in the race. He had subsequently improved to third position. Besides Thuriya, the powerful storm rolled and dis-masted the Hanley Energy Endurance, the boat in which fellow GGR participant, Gregor McGuckin was sailing. However Gregor is otherwise alright and following emergency repairs, was slated to sail towards Abhilash’s coordinates. He was reported to be 100 miles south west. Another GGR participant, the Estonian sailor Uku Raandma was also in range; he was reported to be some 450 miles away from Thuriya.
According to the media, the Indian Navy and Australian rescue authorities have swung into action to rescue Abhilash.
(The author, Shyam G Menon, is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai. For more on the 2018 GGR please scroll down or select from archives.)