National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 06 October 2018
Commander Abhilash Tomy who was under medical observation at Ile Amsterdam was brought to Visakhapatnam safely onboard INS Satpura on 06 October 18. Vice Adm Karambir Singh FOC-in-C ENC briefly interacted with Cdr Tomy and enquired about his health condition and the rescue operation. Cdr Tomy has now been shifted to INHS Kalyani, the naval hospital of ENC for observation and medical assistance as required. The Commander-in-Chief also interacted with Capt Alok Ananda, the Commanding Officer of INS Satpura who lost his father while the ship was on operational deployment and diverted for the Search and Rescue operation.
Cdr Tomy was participating in the Golden Globe Race 2018(GGR) representing India in the historic around the world race without modern navigation aids. On 21 Sep 18 his sailing vessel ‘Thuriya’ was dismasted when the boat was caught in a violent storm in the South Indian Ocean, approximately 1900 nautical miles West of Perth, Australia. Cdr Abhilash Tomy suffered a severe back injury and dropped out of the race. The Australian Rescue Coordination Centre at Canberra coordinated the rescue mission in conjunction with many agencies including the Australian Defence Department and the Indian Navy. Indian Navy launched ‘Operation Raksham’ to rescue the injured officer by immediately deploying the Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft P8I in the area staging through Mauritius for providing close support and monitoring the rescue operations and diverted IN Ships Satpura and Jyoti to undertake Search and Rescue Operations. On 24 Sep 18, French Fishing Vessel (FV) Osiris reached in vicinity of ‘Thuriya’ and carried out a successful rescue operation and later shifted Cdr Tomy to Ile Amsterdam for shelter.
INS Satpura after fuelling from INS Jyoti arrived off the Ile Amsterdam and safely evacuated Cdr Tomy using the ship’s helicopter on 28 Sep 18. He was thereafter provided the requisite medical treatment onboard during the passage to Visakhapatnam. The ship successfully executed ‘Operation Raksham’ and brought Cdr Tomy safely to Visakhapatnam displaying Indian Navy’s reach, mobility and versatility to responding to the challenges of ‘Search and Rescue’ mission. The event is another testimony of the Indian Navy being a credible ‘Net Security Provider’ in the Indian Ocean Region.