BY Anna Cummins on 20 Jul 2023

The plight of Tim Shaddock, 54, has been compared to the 2000 Tom Hanks film Castaway

Australian Sailor Tim Shaddock Rescued

A sailor who was attempting to sail between Mexico and French Polynesia has been rescued — after spending three months stranded at sea with his dog, Bella.

Sydney resident Tim Shaddock, 54, has been compared to the main character in the 2000 Tom Hanks film Castaway, after images of his gaunt frame and large beard emerged after he was rescued. 

Shaddock had been making a solo 6,000km trip between Mexico and French Polynesia in April, alongside his canine companion, when a storm wrecked the electronics on board his catamaran.

Unable to call for help or even cook food, Shaddock was left drifting in the North Pacfiic — 2,000km away from the nearest land. He survived by eating raw fish and drinking rainwater collected on the boat, and sheltering from the sun under the boat’s canopy. 

Eventually, almost three months later,  a helicopter spotted Shaddock and Bella. The pilot reportedly threw Shaddock a drink before alerting a nearby tuna trawler, which sent a speed boat to help him.

Despite being weak, Shaddock was found to be well and was taken back to Mexico. He will shortly depart back to Australia.

“I have been through a very difficult ordeal at sea,” Shaddock said in a video obtained by Australian news channel 9News (below), after he was rescued.  

“I’m just needing rest and good food because I have been alone at sea a long time. Otherwise, I’m in very good health.”

Asked why he made the trip, he explained: “I’m not sure I have the answer to that, but I very much enjoy sailing and I love the people of the sea.

“It’s the people of the sea that make us all come together. The ocean is in us. We are the ocean.”

Despite their ordeal together, Shaddock is not going to bring Bella — who he says followed him onto the boat in Mexico — back to Australia with him. He has confirmed that a crew member on the tuna vessel, Genaro Rosales, will adopt her.

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