MELBOURNE: Injured Indian Navy sailor Abhilash Tomy, rescued in a multi-nation operation from the remote Indian Ocean near Australia, is set to return home, the Australian Navy said on Monday.
Last month, 39-year-old Tomy, a Kirti Chakra awardee, who was sailing his boat as part of the Golden Globe Race (GGR) - a solo sailboat race around the world -- drifted in the seas for three days.
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His boat was hit by a deadly storm, about 1,900 nautical miles from Perth, Australia. The main mast of his boat was ripped off by around 15-metre high waves.
Tomy, who suffered a back injury, is being picked up by the Indian Navy frigate INS Satpura for return to India, the Australian Navy said in a statement in Sydney.
Tomy and Irishman Gregor McGuckin, competitors in round-the-world Golden Globe race were rescued by the French fishing vessel Osiris on last Monday and taken to Ile Amsterdam, an island in the southern Indian Ocean.
"We are very pleased that both yachtsmen are now safe," Australia's navy chief Vice Admiral Mike Noonan said in a statement.
The rescue operation was assisted by the Indian Navy's maritime surveillance aircraft P 8i and the Australian Navy had sent one of its frigate as part of the operation.
Tomy's boat, the Thuriya, is a replica of Robin Knox-Johnston's Suhaili, winner of the first Golden Globe Race in 1968.
Tomy, who hails from Kerala, was placed third in the race when he faced the storm.
The Golden Globe race involves a single-handed circumnavigation of the globe - a distance of 30,000 miles - without using modern technology, except for satellite communications.
Competitors started from France on 1 July; seven boats have so far withdrawn from the race.