Sydney Sailor Rescued After Surviving Two Months Adrift At Sea

A Sydney sailor and his dog have survived two months adrift at sea, living off raw fish and rainwater. 

Tim Shaddock and his dog Bella had set sail for French Polynesia from Mexico back in April but ran into trouble a month later when their catamaran was hit by wild weather and lost power.

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They spent the last eight weeks eating raw fish and drinking rainwater and were saved days ago by a fishing trawler off the coast of Mexico after a helicopter spotted them.

They are now safely back on dry land; Shaddock’s doctor told 9News that the man had “normal vital signs”.

Professor Mike Tipton, an ocean survival expert, says luck was only a part of the pair’s incredible story.

“It’s a combination of luck and skill,” he told Weekend Today.

“And also knowing, for example, as Tim did, that during the heat of the day, you need to protect yourself because the last thing you want when you’re in danger of becoming dehydrated is to be sweating.”

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According to Tipton, the crucial factor for survival hinged on obtaining a continuous source of fresh water, which in Shaddock’s case, was dependent on climate and geographic location.

“If you look back through history, they tend to occur in warm environments because if it was a cold environment, you don’t survive long enough. “

Tipton has described Shaddock’s rescue as a “needle in a haystack” situation and said, “People need to appreciate how small the boat is and how vast the Pacific is”.


A Sydney sailor and his dog survived two months adrift at sea, living off raw fish rainwater. Tim Shaddock and his dog Bella were found stranded in the Pacific Ocean after his boat was damaged in a storm.  #sydney

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Shaddock’s mother told 9News that his first order of business, aside from some good food, was a haircut. 

“I have been through a very difficult ordeal at sea,” the 51-year-old told 9News after being 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.”

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