Stranded sailor and dog survive 2 months at sea on rainwater, raw fish – National

An Australian sailor who was stranded off the coast of Mexico with his dog Bella for months was rescued by fishermen and finally returned to land.

Tim Shaddock, 51, from Sydney, was trying to sail to French Polynesia, about 6,000 kilometers from the Mexican city of La Paz, when his boat was damaged.

A few weeks after setting sail with the dog, Mr. Shaddock encountered a storm that damaged the catamaran’s electronics and communications system and left him stranded in the Pacific Ocean. The sailor originally began her voyage in April, but she was not found until 12 July.

Shaddock and Bella are eventually rescued when a helicopter monitoring the tuna trawler spots the wayward vessel.

The doctor who treated Shaddock told Australia’s 9 News that Shaddock, 51, said:stable and very goodI have “normal vital signs”. The paper reports that Bella appears to have survived the ordeal unharmed.

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Shaddock’s survival was also due to his fishing gear on board. He would catch fish and eat them raw, and collect rainwater to stay hydrated during storms. He also avoided sun exposure and heat stroke by taking shelter under the boat’s canopy.

“I have had a very difficult ordeal at sea,” Shaddock said in a video obtained by 9News. “Being alone at sea for a long time, I need rest and good food. Other than that, I am very healthy.”

In the video, the sailor has a long beard and bushy eyebrows and appears rather thin.

Mike Tipton, a marine survival expert and professor at the University of Portsmouth, told 9News that it takes “a combination of luck and skill” to survive this long at sea. And he believes the dog, Bella, may have played a big part in their survival.

“I think that might have made a big difference,” said Tipton. “You are living each day to the fullest. To overcome these challenges and not give up, you must have a very positive mental attitude.”

Tipton said rescuing Shaddock was like finding “a needle in a haystack”.

“People need to realize how small this ship is and how vast the Pacific is. The odds of finding someone are pretty slim,” he said.

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© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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