KOCHI: With doctors reporting remarkable improvement in the health condition of Commander Abhilash Tomy, the Indian Navy has decided to shift him to India by sea. Navy vessel INS Satpura, which is expected to reach Amsterdam Island on Friday, will bring him home. The island is 5,310 km away from Kochi and he is expected to reach the country by October 5, said sources.
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Tomy was participating in the Golden Globe Race, a non-stop, solo circumnavigation yacht race covering 30,000 miles, when his yacht Thuriya got caught in a storm and was dismasted on September 21, at a remote location around 3,000 km off Australia in the South Indian Ocean. Tomy suffered serious back injury and was rescued by French vessel Osiris three days later. He was admitted to a hospital at Amsterdam Island, where he has been recuperating.
Australian frigate HMAS Ballarat reached Amsterdam Island on Thursday and returned to perth with Gregor McGuckin, another Golden Globe Race skipper, whose yacht was dismasted in the storm mid-way across the South Indian Ocean last Friday.
Tomy will remain in the hospital till the arrival of INS Satpura on Friday. He will be transferred to the ship by helicopter.
The Golden Globe Race organisers, quoting Tomy’s manager Capt Dilip Donde in India, reported that he can now stand and is eating and drinking, but requires rest. Capt Donde also announced plans to salvage Thuriya, left drifting in the Indian Ocean when he was recovered by the crew of Osiris on Monday. The plan is for the Indian frigate to tow Thuriya to St Paul’s Island some 40 miles north, and leave a crew to make repairs and sail her to land.