Australia

Sailor Abhilash Tomy 'conscious, talking' after rescue off WA coast

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After more than two days in the Southern Ocean, rescued Indian sailor Abhilash Tomy is in a stable condition and will be taken to a tiny island for treatment.

A badly injured Indian yachtsman is in a stable condition and being transported for medical treatment after he was rescued in the remote southern Indian Ocean.

Abhilash Tomy is "conscious and talking" on Monday evening after being rescued about 3000km southwest of Perth.

Mr Tomy had been taking part in an around the world solo sailing competition - the Golden Globe Race - when his yacht Thuriya lost its mast in a storm on Friday.

Rescuers confirmed "Tomy is conscious, talking and onboard the Orisis," race organisers said in a statement on Monday.

Mr Tomy will be transported to Ile Amsterdam, a tiny island in the southern Indian Ocean which has a small hospital but no airport big enough to take a fixed-wing aircraft.

Given the extent of the yachtsman's injuries he is likely to spend time on HMAS Ballarat, which will arrive on Friday and take him back to Perth.

The location of Abhilash Tomy.
The location of Abhilash Tomy.
SBS News

A French fisheries patrol boat found 39-year-old after he was able to provide information via text messages, although the battery power of his devices were diminishing.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is running the rescue operation, taking to Twitter to thank those involved in the efforts.

"FPV Osiris has successfully located and rescued Abhilash Tomy who is reported to be in a stable condition," AMSA wrote on Monday.

"The vessel will now transport Tomy to Ile Amsterdam for further medical treatment."

The Indian Navy tweeted: "Tomy rescued safely".

Abhilash Tomy and his boat.
Abhilash Tomy and his boat.
The Golden Globe Race

Before the Indian Navy commander was found, search and rescue officer Phil Gaden said Mr Tomy had a severely injured back.

"We believe that he's very severely restricted in his ability to manoeuvre, his mobility is affected," Mr Gaden told reporters in Canberra earlier on Monday.

"The yacht's very badly damaged, it's been dismasted and we know the gear is hanging over the side.

"At the moment our indications are it is upright and floating high in the water, however at any moment a wave could push one of those damaged masts into the vessel."

Abhilash Tomy on his boat 'Thuriya".
Abhilash Tomy on his boat 'Thuriya".
Golden Globe Race

The yacht was in Australia's search and rescue zone, 3500km southwest of Perth and 3000km southeast of the French island Reunion.

An Irish sailor, whose yacht also lost its mast as part of the Golden Globe yacht race, will be picked up after the rescue as he is uninjured.

The race organisers "are extremely grateful" for all rescue efforts and are continuing to work closely with rescue teams.

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