Indian warship picks up Commander Abhilash Tomy from remote Indian Ocean island

NEW DELHI: Indian warship INS Satpura on Friday picked up champion sailor Commander Abhilash Tomy from Île Amsterdam, a remote island in the southern Indian Ocean where he was undergoing treatment for a back injury he suffered while negotiating a deadly storm that left his yacht crippled last week. He was participating in this year’s Golden Globe Race (GGR), a circumnavigation race involving solo participants, and which bars the use of modern technology. A Chetak helicopter launched from the warship landed on the 55-sq km island to bring Tomy onboard the vessel, a navy official familiar with the matter said. Satpura is now charting course towards Tomy’s badly damaged sail boat Thuriya that is around 180 km from the island. “The warship will check the condition of Thuriya. Some equipment has to be retrieved. We also have to see if and how we recover the sail boat,” the official said. Tomy was rescued by French patrol vessel Osiris in a dramatic mission in one of the remotest spots on Earth on Monday. In an interview to HT on Thursday – his first and only interview after being rescued, Tomy had reconstructed some of the most terrifying moments of his 70-hour ordeal. The 39-year-old suffered a debilitating back injury on September 21 after the rough seas and powerful winds pummeled his yacht, sending it into a 360-degree spin. Tomy became the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe onboard his boat Mhadei – solo, non-stop and unassisted in 2013. He was awarded India’s second-highest peace-time gallantry award, Kirti Chakra, for the feat. Before the accident, Tomy was in the third position among 11 international participants.

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