Perth:The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is coordinating the rescue of injured skipper Abhilash Tomy, described as one of India’s most prominent sailors.

Solo sailors in the 2018 Golden Globe Race have been hit by a vicious storm mid-way across the South Indian Ocean, leaving an Indian navy sailor injured, a defence spokesperson said on Friday night, quoting a news report issued by the organisers.

According to the report issued from the Les Sables d'Olonne, France, the 70 knot winds and 14 metre high seas have left the yachts of Abhilash Tomy and Ireland's Gregor McGuckin dismasted, and have twice knocked down the yacht of second-placed Dutchman Mark Slats.

Both McGuckin and Slats report that they are okay, but 39-year-old Tomy, a commander in the Indian navy making his second solo circumnavigation, has been injured.

"A CODE RED ALERT was issued after Race HQ received his message at 12:09 UTC today: ROLLED. DISMASTED. SEVERE BACK INJURY. CANNOT GET UP," it said.

It also said other entrants have been asked to head towards Tomy's position if possible, and added that the weather and sea were extreme.

The nearest yacht happens to be Gregor McGuckin's Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance, some 90 miles to the southwest of Tomy's Thuriya, but she too was dismasted in the same storm.

Gregor reported earlier that his yacht was a mess below, but providing his diesel supplies have not been contaminated. The yacht has sufficient fuel to motor towards Tomy's position if conditions allow, the report added.

Both Tomy and McGuckin are some 1,900 miles west of Cape Leeuwin, West Australia, it said.

Indian navy officer, Commander Abhilash Tomy, who became the first Indian to have circumnavigated the globe in 2013, is the only Indian participating in the Golden Globe Race that involves a gruelling 30,000-mile solo circumnavigation of the globe.

The adventurous event began in July this year from France.