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Golden Globe Race: Radio NZ interview with Don McIntyre

by Radio NZ/ 24 Sep 14:34 NZST 24 September 2018
"The Golden Globe Race wanted us to prove that we could sail without a mast for about half a day. This is what we planned for Thuriya. Worked well!" Tomy Abhilash before Thuriya left India by ship for the start of the Golden Globe Race. © Abhilash Tomy

A huge multinational rescue mission is underway to reach a seriously injured sailor taking part in the Golden Globe round-the-world yacht race.

Abhilash Tomy, a 39-year-old Indian naval commander, is stranded 3200km off the coast of Western Australia after a severe storm broke the boat's mast. The race organisers say his location is "at the extreme limit of immediate rescue range". Tomy is at the mid-point between South Africa and Australia and is just inside the zone for which Australia has rescue responsibility.

Race organisers had been routing the three boats to head north, but they were unable to escape the path of the storm which rolled and dismasted two of the three boats.

Seas at the time were reported at 15 metres.

Mr Tomy managed to send a message saying he has a severe back injury, can't move and is unable to eat or drink. He did try drinking iced tea, but vomited immediately. He needs to have liquids/keep hydrated because of this back injury.

Radio New Zealand's Gyles Beckford spoke to Golden Globe Race director Don McIntyre who is in Les Sables d'Olonne - the race's start point in France. He says several planes have flown over the disabled yacht to gather more information, and that surface vessels will be on the scene from first light tomorrow.

The interview was broadcast at 2000hrs UTC on September 23, 2018

To listen to the full interview on Radio NZ click here

In a social media update at 0250hrs UTC on September 24, 2018 Golden Globe Race organisers reported:

Gregor McGuckin has slowed to 1.5kts and is still 30miles west of Abhilash Tomy. OSIRIS the French Fisheries patrol vessel is now due on scene between 0600-0800UTC. Plan is to Launch two zodiacs with crew to Tomy then attempt boarding and admin immediate First Aid. Then assess possible evacuation. The Indian Navy Plane due on scene at 0430UTC to establish communications with Osiris/Gregor. Australian Airforce Plane due on scene 0730UTC . Weather 15-20kts SW swell 5mtrs. Have advised TOMY of latest operational Plan and ETA of Osiris and aircraft. Last message received from Tomy at 0826.UTC 23rd All later messages from GGR unacknowledged as received into unit text suggesting not turned on or flat battery. Have asked Tomy to acknowledge messages and update his condition. Battery currently 5% on YB3 Texting unit...should be OK but possible now too weak to transmit. YB3i online tracker battery 9% and still operational. Gregor is making slow progress and has been advised of aircraft movements. Gregor has asked for a CONTROLED EVACUATION of himself. He is NOT in distress but feels it is the responsible option to take now that all Rescue assets are close at hand. Austrailian Warship HMAS Ballerat ETA is 0300UTC on 27th.

Follow LIVE TRACKER with weather and sea state overlay here.


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