I didn’t really think I’d survive it,” said Timothy Shaddock, an Australian sailor who spent nearly three months on a damaged catamaran in the Pacific with his dog. He told journalists why he decided to go on an expedition, about the plan to return home and how he found and adopted the dog Bella.
Timothy Shaddock went ashore at Manzanillo, a port city in the west Mexico, on Tuesday. The 54-year-old sailor from Sydney, previously described by the media as 51, did not have valid papers, so Mexican authorities – given his “freaked foreigner status” – issued him an immigrant visa, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
The sailor returned to land after a few months
“I didn’t really think I was going to make it,” Shaddock said, thanking the fishing company and the captain of the Maria Delia whose crew took him off the catamaran. He noted that he felt “great” on land. Speaking of months on the ocean, he said the catamaran was “well stocked” but the storm had left it without electronics and cooking facilities. The 54-year-old declared that he spent his time on the vessel repairing damage and swimming in the ocean.
When asked by journalists how his dog Bella is coping with such difficult experiences, he replied that she was “amazing”. He added that he found Bella in Mexico shortly before leaving for a cruise in April. – Three times I tried to find a home for her and she just followed me to the water. She’s definitely much braver than me.
The 54-year-old indicated that one of Maria Deli’s crew declared a desire to adopt Bella. The sailor agreed to the proposal, “provided he takes good care of the dog.” As promised, he will be back soon Australia and can’t wait to meet his family. Why did he go on a journey? – I’m not sure if I have an answer to that, but I really like sailing and I love people of the sea. It is the people of the sea that make us all meet. The ocean is within us. We are the ocean, he said.
He survived by eating fish and drinking rainwater
Shaddock and his dog sailed from La Paz, Mexico in April. The Australian planned to reach with his catamaran over 6,000 miles away. kilometers of French Polynesia, but the unit was damaged in a storm after a few weeks in the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The sailor and his companion spent nearly three months on the open sea, until they were spotted about 1.9 thousand. km from land by a helicopter crew and then taken on board a fishing vessel.
Even before returning to the mainland, Shaddock was interviewed by 9News Australia. In it, he admitted that he “went through a very difficult test” in the Pacific. He was supposed to survive in the ocean by drinking rainwater and eating raw fish. According to an expert in occupational physiology and hygiene, prof. Mike Tipton of the University of Portsmouth, the Australian managed to survive thanks to “a combination of luck and skill”.
– The chances that someone (in this situation – ed.) will be found are small – he told the Australian portal, comparing the search in the Pacific to “a needle in a haystack”. According to Tipton, Bella’s presence on the catamaran may have also played a role. “You live day by day and you have to have a very positive mental attitude to go through these kinds of trials and not give up.”
Reuters, ABC News, tvn24.pl
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/Grupomar HANDOUT