Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Irish sailor evacuated from Indian Ocean after being dismasted in storm during Golden Globe Race

Gregor McGuckin was sailing on his yacht Hanley Energy. Photo: Press Association Images

An Irish sailor has been rescued after finding himself in difficulties 2,000 miles off the Australian coast during the Golden Globe Race.

Gregor McGuckin, 32, became dismasted during a storm in the Indian Ocean on Friday, which also left fellow competitor Abhilash Tomy stranded.

Mr Tomy suffered severe back injuries, and despite Mr McGukin's efforts to help him the pair found themselves adrift.

While Mr Tomy was rescued in the early hours of Monday, it took crews longer to locate Mr McGuckin and his Hanley Energy Endurance yacht.

The storm struck when the pair were nearly 2,000 miles south west of Perth in western Australia.

Team Ireland released a statement to say Mr McGuckin was in good condition.

Mr McGuckin became stranded 2,000 miles off the Australian coast. Credit: PA

The mast of Mr Tomy’s yacht Thuriya broke off when it was rolled in the storm, and the yachtsman suffered what has been reported as a "severe back injury".

The 39-year-old Indian navy commander was "incapacitated on his bunk inside his boat", race organisers said.

In a statement issued on Monday morning, the Golden Globe Race said the French fisheries patrol vessel Osiris reached Mr Tomy's yacht at 5.30am local time and her crew successfully transferred him to the ship.

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Canberra reported that "Tomy is conscious, talking and on board the Osiris".

They then moved to evacuate Mr McGuckin.

The pair were rescued in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Credit: PA

Later on Monday, it was confirmed that Mr McGuckin had been evacuated

Team Ireland said: "We are delighted to confirm Gregor McGuckin and fellow competitor Abhilash Tomy are now onboard the French fisheries patrol vessel Osiris.“The vessel initially rescued Indian sailor Abhilash Tomy who is reported to be conscious and talking.

"The vessel then sailed approximately 30 miles to safely evacuate Gregor McGuckin.

"McGuckin’s condition is good and has reported nothing more than bumps and bruises."

Abhilash Tomy is a 39-year-old Indian navy commander. Credit: PA

The two men are to be taken to Amsterdam Island where they will be given a full medical examination.

Team Ireland also revealed Mr McGuckin’s heroics, managing to steer his damaged vessel close to Mr Tomy’s.

"In an incredible show of seamanship, the 32-year-old Irishman managed to build a jury rig and hand steer his yacht Hanley Energy Endurance for the past four days to within 30 miles of his fellow competitor in order to be on site to assist with the rescue if required," the statement said.

"McGuckin did not declare an emergency for his own situation despite being rolled over and losing his mast.

"However, given the extremely remote location and the condition of his yacht, it was deemed the appropriate course of action to abandon his yacht under a controlled evacuation scenario as the opportunity arose.

"The considered move ensures, in the event that his own situation deteriorated in any attempt to reach land in the coming weeks, a second rescue mission would not be required."

Team Ireland expressed their thanks to those who ran the evacuation.