Sailor Stranded at Sea with Pet Dog for Over 2 Months Says He’s ‘Just So Grateful’ to Be Back on Dry Land

by Jessica

An Australian sailor, aged 51, who had been missing at sea with his pet dog for over two months, expressed his relief and gratitude upon returning to solid ground. Tim Shaddock, sporting a long beard, shared his sentiments during a press conference in Manzanillo, Mexico, as reported by NBC News.

Shaddock conveyed his profound appreciation to the captain and crew of a fishing vessel who played a pivotal role in saving his life, stating, “I’m just so grateful. I’m alive,” according to the outlet. As previously reported, Shaddock and his loyal companion, Bella, were rescued last week after embarking on a sailing journey from Le Paz, Mexico, to French Polynesia in April.

Several weeks after setting sail, their catamaran was damaged by a storm, rendering all of Shaddock’s electronic devices useless and leaving him unable to seek assistance, as mentioned by 9News in Australia. Shaddock relied on his fishing equipment to catch food, which he consumed raw and collected rainwater for sustenance while awaiting rescue alongside Bella. Two months later, a helicopter accompanying a tuna trawler spotted Shaddock’s boat off the Mexican coast.

Soon after the rescue, Shaddock revealed to the news station, “I have been through a very difficult ordeal at sea,” expressing his need for rest and nourishment after enduring an extended period alone on the open ocean.

Upon being brought aboard the tuna trawler, the Australian sailor received medical attention from a specialist doctor. A news broadcast displayed a photo of Shaddock seated, resting his feet on a table, while the medical professional appeared to wrap bandages around his toes and other areas of his feet. Another photo depicted Shaddock having his blood pressure checked on the vessel.

Shaddock’s doctor informed 9News that he was conscious, talkative, and consuming small meals, adding that the Sydney native displayed “normal vital signs” despite his ordeal.

According to The Guardian‘s report on Monday, Shaddock was returning to Mexico aboard the trawler and would receive further medical support upon reaching the shore.

Professor Mike Tipton, a physiology expert at the University of Portsmouth’s extreme environment laboratory in England, explained to Sky News that Shaddock’s survival was attributable to “a combination of luck and skill,” noting that the warm water negated concerns about hypothermia.

The professor elaborated, stating, “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.”

Tipton highlighted the potential impact of Shaddock’s dog, Bella, on his survival, stating, as reported by 9News, “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.” He further explained that having companionship, along with sufficient food and water, played a crucial role in determining one’s survival in such circumstances.

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