Wandering for weeks, stray Aussie and her dog returned to Mexico

An Australian migrant who spent two months eating raw fish in the Pacific Ocean with his dog Bella reached Mexico on Tuesday aboard a fishing boat that saved his life, AFP reported.

“I’m so grateful,” said Timothy Shaddock, collared white beard, shaggy faded blonde hair, blue eyes, charming features but smiling, as he disembarked from the tuna boat “Maria Delia.”

Australian media announced on Monday that they had found a 50-year-old man aboard his catamaran Aloha Toa.

“The Australian was more than 1,200 nautical miles (about 2,200 km) from land,” Grupomar, the fishing company that rescued her, said in a statement.

“I’m alive,” he cheered, as if he couldn’t believe it. “I didn’t think I’d be able to do it, especially with the arrival of hurricanes”, which happens frequently in the Pacific at this time of year.

“But now I’m fine,” he assured reporters waiting for him on a dock in the port of Manzanillo in western Mexico.

The slain man paid tribute to his little dog, Bela, who was seen by an AFP journalist on a fishing boat.

– “Fatigue is the hardest” –

He added, “I’m just grateful he’s alive. He’s braver than me…he’s amazing.”

He said Bella had followed him aboard his catamaran as the yachtsman had on several occasions sought to find a foster family for her.

Australian fugitive Tim Shaddock talks to the press upon his arrival at the port of Manzanillo in western Mexico, July 18, 2023 (AFP – Ulysses Ruiz)

Tim Shaddock and Bella had left the Mexican seaside city of La Paz in April and planned to travel some 6,000km before anchoring in French Polynesia.

But rough seas immediately damaged the catamaran and disabled the electronic equipment.

“Fatigue is the hardest,” he continued his lonely drift on the high seas. “I was trying to find happiness deep inside myself.”

He elaborated, “At one point I fell ill. I was very hungry.” “I caught a lot of fish”.

“When things get tough, you have to survive,” Pacific Robinson explained. “And when you survive, you want to live”.

“I want to see my friends and my family,” he said, wearing a cap bearing the logo of a company that owns a Mexican fishing boat.

“Life is beautiful and we had the responsibility to save the life of a human and the little dog that was with him,” said Antonio Suarez, president of Grupomar Company.

“Medical service is available on our boats,” he said, expressing happiness over the communication campaign. “He fell into good hands.”

The boat which rescued the shipwrecked person is the smallest and oldest in the groupomer’s fleet, he said. This was probably his last outing at sea.

According to the Australian media, Timothy Shaddock is 51 years old, according to the statement of the fishing company, he is 54 years old.

“I like being alone on the sea,” he confessed. “Probably not,” he says, and talks of going back to sea immediately.

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