Stranded Indian sailor Abhilash Tomy rescued after three days

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Kochi: Indian Naval officer Abhilash Tomy, who suffered an injury while participating in the Golden Globe Race, has been rescued three days after his yacht was dismasted, a Navy spokesperson said on Monday.

Friday's storm whipped up 70-knot winds and 14-metre (45ft) waves, which also knocked down the yacht of another competitor, Dutchman Mark Slats, twice. "He is conscious and doing okay".

The injured Indian sailor will soon be shifted to a small French island I'lle Amsterdam where a doctor will attend to him. Indian Naval stealth frigate, INS Satpura with a Chetak Helicopter and tanker INS Jyoti operating in the Indian Ocean have been dispatched for the rescue mission.

Tomy was stranded in Australia's search and rescue zone, some 3,500 kilometers (2,174 miles) southwest of Perth.

An Indian Navy aircraft launched from Port Louis in Mauritius early on Sunday had established visual contact with Thuriya.

Both masts on his 36ft-long (11m) classic yacht, Thuriya, were taken down by the storm and were seen hanging over the vessel's side.

The Indian navy spokesman was quoted by NDTV as saying that Tomy sent a "ping" with his Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, or EPIRB, when aircraft approached his position.

The race organisers said the 36-foot yacht was "at the extreme limit of immediate rescue range".

Mr Tomy's boat has been floating about 1,900 miles south-west of Perth since the incident.

Sharma said the rescue operation involved the Royal Australian Navy, the French vessel and India's navy.

The rescue team from French fishing vessle Osiris boarding Thuriya.

The rescue mission is being coordinated by the Indian Navy, the Australian Rescue Coordination Centre at Canberra, and the Australian Defence Department, among other agencies.

Despite the nearness of the French ship, Gaden had cautioned that rescuers might not be able to evacuate Tomy because of the damage to his yacht, in which case an Australian naval boat, positioned further away, might have had to undertake the rescue.

In order to rescue Tomy, who had sustained a back injury, Gregor was asked to head towards him on Saturday, however, owing to bad weather condition Osiris reached before him, said a source.

Tomy managed to send a series of text messages to race organisers using a satellite phone, explaining that his yacht had rolled and been "dismasted", adding that he has severly injured his back and is unable to move, eat or drink.

The Race's website described Tomy as one of India's most prominent sailors and a pilot in the Indian Navy.

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