An Australian sailor and his dog, adrift for months in the Pacific Ocean, survived on his damaged vessel by eating raw fish and drinking rainwater.
Timothy Lyndsay Shaddock, 54, and his pup Bella were found alive aboard his catamaran, “Aloha Toa,” in the Pacific about 1,200 miles from land when the crew of a Mexican tuna boat from the Grupomar fleet spotted them, the company said Monday in a statement.
“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 a long time,” Shaddock, who appeared thin and bearded, said in a video broadcast by Australia’s Nine News television on Sunday night Australian time.
“Otherwise, I’m in very good health,” Shaddock added.
Shaddock described how he and his dog had survived on raw fish and rainwater after a storm damaged his vessel and wiped out its electronics, cutting off all communications.
Shaddock, of Sydney, and Bella had set sail from the Mexican city of La Paz for French Polynesia in April. The voyage, however, ended within weeks, Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.
The crew of the tuna vessel said they discovered the pair in a “precarious” state, lacking food provisions and shelter. Grupomar did not provide specific details on what day Shaddock was rescued or when he had started his voyage.
Shaddock’s doctor told Nine that he has “normal vital signs” and, along with Bella, is “stable and very well.”
Professor Mike Tipton told the outlet that both luck and skill contributed to the survival of the man and his dog, likening the rescue to finding a “needle in a haystack.”
“People need to appreciate how small the boat is and how vast the Pacific is. The chances of someone being found are pretty slim,” Tipton said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.