GGR UPDATE 05:30UTC. 22/9/18
The Australian Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre is working hard to asses and co-ordainate all possible options to Rescue Abhilas Tomy who is as far from help as you can possibly be.
Late last night we were excited to recieve the following messages from Tomy. Till then we had heard nothing but the first message and we were all very worried.
UNABLE 2 LEAVEBUNK.WILLTRY2CHECKPHONEANDMASTBYDAY Position: 39′ 26.323 S 077′ 29.848 E at 21 Sep 22:44 UTC
BACK IS EXTREMELY STIFF.DIFFICULT TO. EPIRB AND EXACT SITUATION Position: 39′ 26.298 S 077′ 29.862 E at 21 Sep 22:47 UTC
GGR received the following messages from TOMY at first light this morning:
“Activated EPIRB. Extremely difficult to walk, Might need stretcher, can’t walk, thanks safe inside the boat, Unable to reach 2nd YB3 or anything. Sat phone down.”
Tomy is incapacitated on his bunk inside the boat after being rolled and dismasted yesterday. He is using the portable Yellow Brick YB3 texting unit for messaging. Batteries on this unit may last days. His external YB3i tracking unit is still providing position data to the online GGR tracker but the power link to ships batteries is damaged so may go flat sometime. The hand held YB3 is a back up tracker also.
The primary sat phone is damaged. There is a second satphone and second YB3 texting unit in his Emergency GRAB BAG, but he cannot reach those units. He also has an AVIATION hand Held VHF radio in that bag. We have asked him to try to get that as there MAY BE? an aircraft flying down from Australia and later another Indian Air Force plane for a visual Over flight inspection. If these flights went ahead two way communication will be important. He is 2000 miles from Australia, so time for the aircraft on scene will be very short.
A French fisheries Vessel may be headed to the scene, but may not arrive for a few days. An Australian Navy vessel may be considered for assistance, but that may be 5 days or more away. Notice has been sent to any/all ships in the area to check if they can assist the Distress situation.
GGR Entrant UKU RANDMAA is 400 miles west and is heading to the area and will also meet with GREGOR who was also dismasted. He will take about three days to reach the site. On the sat phone today Gregor confirmed he is making repairs to his boat and hopes to be able to make way under power toward Tomy. His windvane was damaged when the mast fell down, so he must hand steer now. The Rudder is making strange noises but it seems OK. He is 100 miles to the South West of Tomy and it will take at least one day travelling IF the weather allows. He is not at this time sure when he may get underway.AT 0530 UTC we recieved the following message from GREGOR ..JURY RIG SET.AIMING TO GET FURTHER NORTH
Mark Slats called the GGR office to confirm he is still in 15mtr seas and 40kts but it feels as if he is in a calm compared to what he went through. Conditions are now moderating. He was washed overboard at one point and flooded inside the boat when one wave smashed through his companionway door. He was Knocked down numerous times and has never seen conditions like it before. His HF radio is damaged and other electrical gear too. He is bruised and OK, but frustrated now that his position and the forecast winds do not make it possible for him to head toward Tomy, 230 miles to the west. GGR have advised him NOT to try, as it is too risky for him in strong headwinds.
GGR continue to work closely with The Australian Joint Rescue Co-ordination Center and is extremely grateful for the efforts being made by all involved.
It appears that the rest of the GGR fleet have done well to make NORTH over the past few days and the worst of the BIG storm approaching them may pass south below them. There will still be big swells and strong winds, but nothing like the middle fleet experienced over the past 24 hours.