The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has joined an international search and rescue mission for an injured solo yachtsman who is stranded off the West Australian coast after encountering difficulties while competing in a race.
Solo skipper Abhilash Tomy, an officer in the Indian Navy, was taking part in the Golden Globe Race when his 10-metre vessel Thuriya was de-masted in a storm in the southern Indian Ocean, about 1,800 nautical miles south-west of Perth.
It is understood he suffered a serious back injury.
Tomy sent a satellite text message on Saturday, saying: “ACTIVATED EPIRB. CANT WALK. MIGHT NEED STRETCHER”, race organisers said in a statement.
A subsequent message read: “CAN MOVE TOES. FEEL NUMB. CAN’T EAT OR DRINK. TOUGH 2 REACH GRAB BAG”.
The ADF said the Royal Australian Navy Frigate, HMAS Ballarat, sailed from Perth on Saturday night for the 39-year-old’s last known location.