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Gregor McGuckin on his yacht in Dun Laoghaire harbour before he sets off on the Golden Globe solo round the world race. Niall Carson via PA
gregor mcguckin

Irish yachtsman who was marooned in Indian Ocean on way back to Australia

The two men were left waiting for help in a remote part of the Indian Ocean.

TWO SOLO YACHTSMEN stranded in the remote Indian Ocean during a round-the-world race were in a “good and stable condition” after being rescued in a multinational mission.

The yachts of Indian Abhilash Tomy and Irishman Gregor McGuckin, competitors in the Golden Globe race, were damaged during a storm on Friday, leaving them marooned some 3,500 kilometres off Australia’s west coast.

Tomy, a 39-year-old navy commander, was badly injured during the storm and on his bunk unable to move, race organisers said.

As part of an international effort to reach the men, both sailors were located and brought on board French fisheries patrol vessel FPV Osiris yesterday.

“Both sailors at this stage are reported to be good and in a stable condition,” Al Lloyd of coordinating agency the Australian Maritime Safety Authority told reporters in Canberra.

Lloyd said the men were due to arrive at a nearby Indian Ocean island Ile Amsterdam later today, where they would be assessed by doctors.

McGuckin, 32, was not injured but said he wanted to abandon his yacht after it was damaged. He made his way to Tomy in an attempt to assist him, and arrived at the same time as Osiris, Lloyd said.

At this stage, the plans were for them to be transferred onto the Royal Australian Navy’s frigate HMAS Ballarat due to arrive at the island on Friday, and brought to Australia, he added.

The Golden Globe Race involves a gruelling 30,000-mile solo circumnavigation of the globe in yachts similar to those used in the first race 50 years ago, with no modern technology allowed except the communications equipment.

Tomy’s own yacht was a replica of Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili, winner of the first Golden Globe Race.

© – AFP, 2018

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