HMAS Ballarat supports search and rescue for injured Golden Globe race sailors

September 26, 2018 – HMAS Ballarat will reach Amsterdam Island tomorrow, ready to provide medical assistance to Indian Solo yachtsman Abhilash Tomy, injured in rough seas approximately 1800 nautical miles off the West Australian coast.

The French fisheries patrol vessel Osiris recovered the injured sailor from the damaged yacht Thuriya, and another sailor from a second damaged yacht, and transported both sailors to Amsterdam Island on Tuesday.

Coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, HMAS Ballarat and a Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon aircraft responded at short notice to help locate both yachts and render assistance.

Chief of Joint Operations, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, said he was proud of the quick and professional response of the ADF.

“Both HMAS Ballarat and the P-8A Poseidon crews deployed at very short notice to support this international search and rescue effort. I am impressed by their response and appreciate their support, and the support of their families, to save the lives of these yachtsmen,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said.

“HMAS Ballarat’s crew had just commenced their pre-deployment leave before they depart for the Middle East, and their response in these circumstances was outstanding.

“This was a coordinated effort with the Indian Navy and French authorities, led by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, and I’m glad the ADF could support the safety of life at sea.”