18th October

Controlled evacuation of Irish and Indian Golden Globe competitors

Golden Globe race competitors Gregor McGuckin (Irl) and Abhilash Tomy (In) have been picked up by a French fisheries patrol vessel Osiris, following total knockdown in mountainous seas in the Southern Ocean.

McGuikin GGR

McGuikin, who lost his mizen and main masts in two events, built a jury rig to hand steer his yacht Hanley Energy Endurance to Tomy who suffered a serious back injury in the violent storm that hit the Southern Ocean.

Tomy (39), a Commander in the Indian Navy had been confined to his bunk, unable to move since his yacht was rolled 360° and dismasted in the storm. 

'Tomy is conscious, talking and onboard Orisis, Australian and Indian long range P8 Orion reconnaissance aircraft circling overhead.' 05:30 UTC Osiris

Within four days, McGuikin had sailed to within 30 miles of Tomy before Osiris reached the scene.

McGuikin did not declare an emergency for his own situation; however given the extremely remote location and condition of his yacht, the decision was taken to abandon under a controlled evacuation to rule out a rescue mission if conditions had worsened in an attempt to reach land. 

Facing a 1,900 mile sail across the Southern Ocean to Western Australia under a small jury rig and without an engine (fuel contamination in the knockdown), 'this is a responsible decision taken by a professional sailor when all the rescue assets are close by,' remarked GGR race chairman Don McIntyre.  

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