June 24, 2024

An Australian castaway and his dog survive the months in the Pacific Ocean


An Australian sailor who spent months away in the Pacific Ocean with his beloved dog has told his amazing story of surviving on raw fish and rainwater after finally returning safely to dry land.

Timothy Lyndsay Shaddock, 54, and his canine companion Bella were rescued after three months at sea by a Mexican tuna trawler which happened to see its vessel hit in the vast expanse of the world’s largest ocean.

“I’m feeling fine. I’m feeling a lot better than I was, I tell you,” a bearded Seaddock told a news conference after landing in the port of Manzanillo, about 790 kilometers (491 miles) west of Mexico City.

“To the captain and fishing company that saved my life, I’m just grateful. I’m alive and I never really thought I’d make it,” he said.

Shaddock, who described himself as a quiet person who loves to be alone at sea, said his odyssey began in early May when he and Bella, a stray he picked up while traveling through Mexico, on a long fishing trip from the Sea. Cortes, also known as the Gulf of California.

Their final destination was French Polynesia – a journey of 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles). But their small catamaran “Aloha Toa” was damaged in a storm several weeks later, leaving Shaddock and Bella adrift in a harsh, unpredictable ocean with little hope of rescue.

Shaddock said he did “a lot of fishing” and ate “a lot of tuna sushi” to sustain himself and Bella, but said his health took a turn for the worse after the storm hit.

The pair was eventually spotted in the eastern Pacific Ocean “more than 1,200 miles from land,” according to Grupomar, the company that owns the tuna boat, in a tweet Monday.

The boat’s crew, led by Captain Óscar Meza Oregón, provided medical attention, hydration and food to Shaddock, according to Grupomar.

“Thank God for putting us on the path of the man who could die,” Antonio Suarez, owner of Grupomar, told reporters.

“It’s a happy day because we ended up on an adventure to save an adventurer who had a lot more problems than we did.”

Shaddock praised Bella for giving him much-needed companionship and explained how the two met by chance.

“Bella found me in the center of Mexico, she is Mexican, she is the spirit of the center of the country. And she wouldn’t let me go. I tried to get her a home maybe three times, and she only followed me on the water,” he said.

Appearing slightly dazed and visibly thin with a beard and disheveled hair, Shaddock said he will “always be in the water,” despite his recent escapades.

“I don’t know how long I’ll be out in the ocean again, you know, but I think I love nature,” he said.

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