Sailor and His Dog Miraculously Rescued After Two Months Adrift in the Pacific Ocean

An Australian sailor and his loyal dog were recently rescued after surviving two months adrift in the Pacific Ocean by eating raw fish and drinking rainwater.

54-year-old Tim Shaddock and his dog Bella left Mexico for French Polynesia back in April, but a few weeks into their 6,000 km journey, Tim’s catamaran was severely damaged in a storm, and they were left with no way to sail. The storm also knocked out all the electronics, so the Sydney-based man had no way of contacting anyone for help, or even cooking his supplies. The last time Shaddock saw dry land was in early May as he sailed out of the Sea of Cortez and into the Pacific during a full moon. He and his canine have been drifting in the Pacific ever since, taking shelter from the sun under a canopy, eating raw fish, and drinking rainwater.

“I’ve been through a very difficult ordeal at sea and I’m just needing rest and good food because I’ve been alone at sea for a long time,” Tim Shaddock said after being rescued. “I have not had enough food for a long time. … I have very good medicine, I’m being looked after very well.”

Asked why he set out in April from Mexico’s Baja Peninsula to cross the Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia, the Australian sailor could not answer clearly. He just said he loved sailing and “the people of the sea”. As for how he spent his time during the two months at sea, he said he stayed occupied by fixing various things on the boat and occasionally going into the water for a swim.


When he spotted a tuna boat’s helicopter flying in the distance, it was the first sign of humans he had seen in three months. Luckily, the helicopter spotted him as well, and after the pilot threw him a drink, he flew away only to return with a speed boat from the María Delia fishing vessel. The two castaways were reportedly in a precarious state and in need of medical attention.

Bella, the catamaran’s canine passenger was an instant hit with the crew of the María Delia. Interestingly, Tim Shaddock had picked her up while traveling through Mexico, as, despite his attempts to find her a home, she kept following him everywhere. Even during their rescue, Bella refused to leave the boat before her human companion left.


Tim Shaddock said that he is eager to return to his family in Australia, but mentioned that Bella would not be going with him. Instead, one of the crew members of the María Delia will adopt her.

“To the captain and fishing company that saved my life, I’m just so grateful. I’m alive and I didn’t really think I’d make it,” Shaddock said. After being found by chance more than 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) from the nearest coast, his gratitude is more than understandable.

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