Australian sailor Tim Shaddock and his dog, Bella, were rescued by a Mexican tuna boat after being lost at sea for months.
An Australian sailor who spent months lost at sea with a dog named Bella was miraculously rescued by a Mexican tuna boat last week. 51-year-old Tim Shaddock and the dog he met in Mexico were rescued after setting off on a 3,000-mile sailing trip from Le Paz, Mexico to French Polynesia in April. A storm damaged their catamaran a few weeks after they set sail and wiped out all of Shaddock's electronic devices. Shaddock was unable to call for help and he relied on his fishing gear to catch food. The duo had to eat raw fish and drink rainwater in order to survive.
That Moment!!!— Sassi (@sassi0203) July 19, 2023
Tim Shaddock survived in Pacific Ocean for two months with his dog Bella pic.twitter.com/fTYWL5Knlp
During a press conference in Manzanillo, Mexico, on Tuesday the sailor revealed that a crew member of the Maria Delia, the ship that rescued the pair, will adopt Bella. “She’s amazing, that dog is something else, I’m a bit biased but yeah,” Shaddock said per The New York Post. “Bella seemed to have found me in the middle of Mexico, she’s Mexican, she is the spirit of the middle of the country and she wouldn’t let me go. I tried to find a home for her maybe three times and just kept following me out into the water. She’s a beautiful animal and I’m just grateful she’s alive. She’s a lot more braver than I am, that’s for sure.”
Dog Lost at Sea with Sailor for Months Adopted by Crew Member Who Helped Rescue Them https://t.co/waTQqJVaj1— People (@people) July 19, 2023
Physiology professor Mike Tipton, who works at the extreme environment laboratory at the University of Portsmouth in England, believes that Bella had a role to play in the 51-year-old's survival."I think that may have well made the difference. You're living very much from day-to-day and you have to have a very positive mental attitude in order to get through this kind of ordeal and not give up," Tipton said per 9News. "However also, having a plan, rationing yourself in terms of water and food, is really the secret to long survival voyages.
"Just imagine how dark and lonely it would feel out there at night time." Tipton told Sky News that the Sydney native was resilient and that his survival was “a combination of luck and skill,” adding, "He was in a warm environment so didn't need to worry about hypothermia. Nearly all the long survival voyages occur in warm water. He had a supply of fresh rainwater. He did the correct thing of minimizing activity in the hottest part of the day to reduce sweating."
Shaddock was even compared to Tom Hanks’ character Chuck Noland in the film "Cast Away," after his ordeal. His health is said to be stable with “normal vital signs,” the doctor who examined him on the boat told 9News. While he loves the water, he has no plans to set sail anytime soon. "I'll always be in the water, I don't know how far out in the ocean again I'll be, I just love nature," he said.