Solo and Unas­sisted Abhilash Tomy Circumnavigates the Earth

Abhilash Tomy Circumnavigates the Earth

SP's NavalForces - - FRONT PAGE - Ñ Rear Ad­mi­ral (Retd) Sushil Ram­say

IN­dIaN NaVYÕS LT CdR abhilash Tomy wrote a new chap­ter in In­di­aÕs rich mar­itime his­tory by be­com­ing the first In­dian to cir­cum­nav­i­gate the earth un­der sailsÑ solo, non-stop and unas­sisted. he em­barked the In­dian naval sail­ing ves­sel Mhadei on Novem­ber 1, 2012, and set sail from Mum­bai har­bour to un­der­take a voy­age no In­dian had at­tempted be­fore and few had dreamt of. In fact, so far, less than 80 peo­ple in the world have suc­cess­fully com­pleted such a voy­age. The enor­mity of the feat can be gauged by the fact that in com­par­i­son, over 500 peo­ple have been to space and over 5,000 have climbed ever­est.

Lt Cdr. abhilash Tomy, a dornier pilot, ar­rived at the his­toric Gate­way of In­dia to a rous­ing re­cep­tion by brightly dressed school­child­ren and was ac­corded a cer­e­mo­nial wel­come by Pres­i­dent Pranab Mukher­jee, who is also the Supreme Com­man­der of the armed Forces on april 6. The Gover­nor of Ma­ha­rash­tra K. Sankara­narayanan; Chief of the Naval Staff ad­mi­ral d.K. -RVKL, )odJ 2IfiFhU &RPPdQGLQJ-LQ-&KLhI, Western Naval Com­mand, Vice ad­mi­ral Shekhar Sinha were also present to re­ceive the new sail­ing icon.

ÒTo sus­tain a long voy­age of over 150 days at sea, solo, non-stop, unas­sisted and sail­ing through some of the most treach­er­ous oceans of the world is a re­mark­able feat. This rare achieve­ment show­cases the spirit of de­ter­mi­na­tion, re­solve and courage of both the in­di­vid­ual and the or­gan­i­sa­tion he rep­re­sents,Ó said the Pres­i­dent. he added, the solo cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion, apart from be­ing a phys­i­cally ar­du­ous task, also re­quires very high stan­dards of knowl­edge of nav­i­ga­tion me­te­o­rol­ogy and boat main­te­nance. ÒThe cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tor not only gets tossed around by WKh URXJK VhdV eXW doVR KdV WR fiJKW VRoLWXGh and the im­pon­der­ables of life at sea, away from civil­i­sa­tion. Bat­tling wave heights of 9-10 me­tres and wind speeds in ex­cess of 100 kmph cou­pled with antarc­tic chills can be an ex­treme test of hu­man en­durance,Ó said the Pres­i­dent.

ÒI am sure that this achieve­ment of Lt Cdr abhilash Tomy will con­tinue to be a source of in­spi­ra­tion for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of young sea­far­ers. his epic voy­age has placed our na­tion into the ranks of a few se­lect coun­tries whose cit­i­zens have been suc­cess­ful in brav­ing such an ar­du­ous voy­age,Ó the Pres­i­dent added. ÒTo un­der­take cross­ing of the three Capes, i.e. Cape Leeuwin, Cape horn and Cape of Good hope, alone re­quires courage, de­ter­mi­na­tion and grit of the high­est or­der,Ó WKh 3UhVLGhQW VdLG, odXGLQJ WKh 1dYy RI­fi­cerÕs spirit. Re­spond­ing to the wel­come, Lt &GU $eKLodVK 7RPy VdLG, “,W LV IXo­fioPhQW of a 14-year-old dream and four years of KdUG ZRUN. 7KLV GLI­fiFXoW YRydJh ZdV PdGh pos­si­ble by ef­forts of lots of peo­ple.Ó he sin­gled out his aide Mo­ham­mad alam, and stated, Òhe was the per­son I missed dur­ing th­ese 150 days.ÓLater, talk­ing to re­porters, Lt Cdr abhilash Tomy said that the scari­est mo­ment of the voy­age was when he en­coun­tered the rough sea near the Cape of Good hope. Lt Cdr Tomy switched off his boatÕs engine on Novem­ber 1, 2012, soon af­ter leav­ing the Mum­bai har­bour and switched it on again on april 6, 2013, to get the boat along­side the Gate­way of In­dia.

he has sailed around 23,100 nau­ti­cal PLohV, FURVVLQJ WKh ,QGLdQ, 6RXWKhUQ, 3dFL­fiF and at­lantic oceans. his route, from West to east, took him south of the con­ti­nents of aus­tralia, South amer­ica and africa, thus round­ing the three ÒGreat CapesÓ Ñ Cape Leeuwin in aus­tralia, Cape horn in South amer­ica and Cape of Good hope in africa.

ad­mi­ral d.K. Joshi in­formed that it was Pranab Mukher­jee who had sanc­tioned the ÔSa­gar Parikra­maÕpro­ject as the then de­fence Min­is­ter. The ves­sel was cus­tombuilt for the In­dian Navy and chris­tened af­ter river Mhadei in Goa in 2009. This was its sec­ond solo cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion trip ZLWKLQ d VSdQ RI IRXU yhdUV, WKh fiUVW ehLQJ skip­pered by Cdr dilip donde.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: In­dian Navy

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