IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Australian sailor details how he and his dog survived at sea for 2 months: ‘Things get tough out there’

Tim Shaddock was miraculously saved by a tuna trawler after he survived for months on raw fish and rainwater.
/ Source: TODAY

The Australian sailor who was rescued after more than two months lost at sea is speaking out about his ordeal.

Tim Shaddock, 54, had set off from La Paz, Mexico to French Polynesia, but says a storm knocked out all of the electronics on his catamaran a few weeks into their voyage back in May, preventing him from communicating for help. Accompanied by his dog, Bella, the two were saved last week by a tuna boat about 1,300 miles off of the western coast of Mexico after being spotted by a helicopter working with the ship.

“When you get saved, you feel like you want to live. So, I’m very grateful,” he told reporters.

Shaddock and his dog Bella were aboard his incapacitated catamaran Aloha Toa some 1,200 miles from land when they were rescued.
Tim Shaddock after he was rescued by a Mexican fishing vessel.Grupomar / Atun Tuny / AP

“I’m alive and I really didn’t think I’d make it,” he added.

Shaddock and Bella survived by eating raw fish and drinking rainwater.

“It was a lot of tuna sushi and I’m still very skinny,” he said. “By the time I came here to the fishing boat, I was just eating so much food.”

Shaddock met Bella on the streets of Mexico before they took off on their trip. The dog kept following him, so he took her with him. He said Bella is remarkable for enduring the hardships they both overcame.

Australian sailor Tim Shaddock and his dog, Bella, were rescued after having spent two months lost in the Pacific Ocean.
Tim Shaddock and his dog, Bella, were rescued after having spent two months lost in the Pacific Ocean.Grupomar / Atun Tuny / AP

“She’s a beautiful animal. I’m just grateful she’s alive. She’s a lot braver than I am, that’s for sure,” he said.

Shaddock said the experience forced him to dig deep inside of him, as he was put to the ultimate test.

“I would try and find the happiness inside myself, you know? When things get tough out there you have to survive,” he explained.

Shaddock's dog, Bella, rolls on the deck after both were rescued by a Mexican tuna boat in international waters.HONS / AP

Australia’s 9News had previously reported Shaddock did not sustain any serious injuries and was not ill. The outlet said he hid from the sun while stranded by staying under a canopy on his boat.

“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,” he said, according to 9News. “I have not had food, enough food, for a long time.”