“I am grateful. I’m alive.”
That’s what Tim Shaddock, an Australian sailor who floated around the Pacific Ocean with his dog, said.
Shaddock (54) was rescued from the water with his dog Bella by the crew of a Mexican tuna fishing trawler after they survived on raw fish and rainwater on their boat for two months.
The two bosom friends arrived at the Mexican port of Manzanillo on Tuesday.
Shaddock was thin, with a bushy beard and messy hair. He had a red cap on his head with a logo of the fishing company, Grupomar, whose vessel came to his and Bella’s rescue.
???? In an unlikely rescue, stranded Australian sailor Tim Shaddock and his dog “Bella” were picked up by a fishing boat after more than two months at sea. The pair survived for weeks on raw fish and rainwater on their storm-crippled boat #AFPVertical #AFP⤵️ pic.twitter.com/OLQXHoX4eA
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) July 19, 2023
RNews previously reported that Shaddock and Bella left the Mexican coastal city of La Paz on a catamaran in April this year and would sail about 6,000 km before they would drop anchor in the tropical area of French Polynesia.
However, the two were left stranded on the deep sea after rough sea conditions damaged the vessel and rendered the electronic devices unusable.
“To the captain and the fishing company that saved my life – what does one say? I’m just so grateful,” Shaddock told local reporters.
“I am alive. I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. Thank you so much.”
It’s getting better…
Shaddock told reporters Tuesday that he was feeling “okay.”
“It’s better than how I felt before we were found. My health was quite bad for a while and I was quite hungry.”
As Shaddock answered the reporters’ questions, he smiled, but also became emotional at times.
“I caught a lot of fish, especially after I ran out of food.”
However, he lost his cooking utensils in the process and therefore ate “a lot of sushi”, he said mockingly as he pointed to his body and told how “skinny” he had become.
According to Shaddock, there were “many, many, many bad days”, but also “good ones”.
“The fatigue was the hardest part. You are always fixing something.
“I tried to find happiness within myself. I also felt very lonely. I went into the sea many times and enjoyed being inside the water.”
a Beautiful life…
The sailor praised Bella, whom he had adopted in Mexico.
According to Shaddock, this four-legged dog chased him on the water after several failed attempts to find her another home.
“She is incredible. That dog is something else,” he laughed. “I’m just thankful she’s alive. She is very brave.”
Bella did not join Shaddock for the news conference because she remained aboard the Grupomar vessel.
Shaddock said he was looking forward to reuniting with his family and friends at home and “just taking it easy”.
He “probably won’t” go to sea again in the near future, he admitted.
“I will probably always be in the water, although I don’t know how far into the sea I will go.”
For the owner of the Grupomar company, Antonio Suarez, the rescue was proof that “life is beautiful”.
“We were responsible for saving the life of a person and the dog that accompanied him,” he said.
“We have medical services on our vessels. He was in good hands.”
Suarez said the boat that picked up Shaddock and Bella was the oldest in the company’s fleet.
“The journey this boat undertook to save Shaddock’s life would probably be the vessel’s last journey.”