Over the weekend, a Mexican tuna trawler rescued 51-year-old Tim Shaddock and his dog, Bella, from their catamaran that had been lost at sea for three months.
Shaddock and Bella were sailing from Mexico to French Polynesia, leaving from La Paz, Mexico. After getting caught in a storm one month into their trip, the catamaran was wiped of all electricity, leaving Shaddock and his trusted companion on their own.
Upon being rescued, the Australian man said: “I’m just needing rest and good food because I’ve been alone at sea a long time, I have not had food, enough food, for a long time.” The man and his dog had been living on a diet of raw fish and rainwater for the last three months. A doctor on the tuna trawler tended to Shaddock and said his vital signs were all “normal.”
The sailor noted that he was lucky to have fishing equipment and other survival gear with him and as well as a canopy on his boat, allowing him to avoid too much sun exposure. It is speculated that the shade played a large role in maintaining Shaddock’s health, due to the many problems that severe sunburn can cause.
Experts have also said that Shaddock’s dog, Bella gave the sailor a definite advantage in their survival journey. Companionship and staying positive have an incredible impact on a person’s mental health especially in times of major stress.
The pair was finally rescued after being seen by a helicopter that was accompanying the tuna trawler. The trawler and its aircraft were on their way back to the West coast of Mexico when they spotted the catamaran. With the aircraft not even actively searching for the lost catamaran, Shaddock and Bella got extremely lucky.
The location that the two were rescued from is unknown, but they are being taken back to the West coast of Mexico where the pair will continue to be evaluated and treated as needed.