Shipwrecked man rescued with dog vows to sail again: ‘I’m just so grateful’


The Australian sailor who spent months drifting aimlessly in the Pacific Ocean thanked his rescuers on Tuesday and vowed he’ll be back on the water, despite his terrifying adventure.

While 51-year-old Tim Shaddock doesn’t have any high-seas adventures planned now, the fortunate sailor insisted that he’ll never give up the pastime.

“Look, I’ll always be in the water,” he told reporters in Manzanillo, Mexico. “I just love nature.”

Sporting a shaggy beard, Shaddock appeared on land for the first time in three months and expressed his gratitude to the fishermen who found him and his dog.

“Look, to the captain and this fishing [crew] — [they] saved my life — what do you say?” Shaddock said. “I’m just so grateful. I’m alive.

Shaddock and his dog Bella shoved off from La Paz, Mexico, three months ago before their journey took a near-deadly turn one month into it.

That’s when a storm struck his white catamaran, wiping out all electronics, the sailor said. That incident two months ago was nearly deadly.

“I didn’t think I’d make it through the storm,” Shaddock said. “Now I’m really doing good.”

Shaddock had charted a journey to French Polynesia before the storm sent them off course.

The man and dog reportedly survived on raw fish and rain water. The lost sailor said he avoided sunburn by taking cover under his boat’s canopy.

They floated aimlessly in the Pacific, seemingly with no hope for survival, for two months before a crew of fishermen from Mexico came upon them, the sailor and fishing company said.

A helicopter, scouting on behalf of the tuna trawler, first spotted Shaddock, leading to their needle-in-a-haystack discovery and rescue, they said.

“You don’t have to hear it from me. The message is we’re all here for each other. All sailors help each other,” Shaddock said. “Even if you don’t sail, I’m here for you too. We’re all out here for each other.”

Shaddock and Bella were fished out of the water by the trawler and taken back to Mexico.

“I simply came to hug Timothy, and to greet the crew and congratulate them,” said Antonio Suárez, president of Grupomar, the company which operates the trawler that found Shaddock. “It’s a great pleasure, it’s a day of happiness.”

Shaddock spoke while wearing a red baseball cap emblazoned with “Tuny,” the food brand of Suárez’s Grupomar.

“We culminated with what we can call an adventure, to aid an adventurer, who had many more problems than we did,” Suárez told reporters in Spanish.

This is a developing story. Please check back here for updates.

Mithil Aggarwal and Sandra Lilley contributed.


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