An Australian sailor who survived three months adrift in the ocean has reportedly been forced to return home without his canine companion that was with him during his time lost at sea.
Timothy Lyndsay Shaddock, 54, and his dog Bella were rescued by a group of Mexican fishermen who returned them both to land in the Mexican city of Manzanillo on Tuesday (early Wednesday AEST). However, the 54-year-old continued his journey back to Australia without his loyal pup by his side.
The Sydney man set sail in a catamaran from La Paz, Mexico, in April with plans to journey through the Pacific to French Polynesia. But one month in, his travels took a deadly turn when a fierce storm hit.
The bad weather destroyed the boat's electronics and Timothy's ability to cook. So the 54-year-old and his dog reportedly survived on raw fish and rainwater until he was found this week
Man's sweet relationship with dog
Speaking to reporters after disembarking in Manzanillo, Timothy revealed how his friendship with Bella formed.
"Bella sort of found me in the middle of Mexico. She's Mexican," he said, the Associated Press reported. "She's the spirit of the middle of the country and she wouldn't let me go."
The 54-year-old said he tried to find the pup a home but she "kept following me into the water".
"She's a lot braver than I am, that's for sure," he said.
Timothy Shaddock and pup both 'doing well' after ordeal
Photos from the rescue show Timothy and Bella on board the larger vessel after being found adrift. Others show the crew posing with the dog. Bella will reportedly stay with one of the crew on the boat that rescued them both.
Timothy said he was grateful to be alive after setting foot on dry land for the first time since April.
"To the captain and fishing company that saved my life, I'm just so grateful. I'm alive and I didn't really think I'd make it," he said, adding that he and his "amazing" dog Bella are both doing well.
He admitted he "was struggling" for a while but now "feels pretty good".
"I was pretty hungry, and I didn’t think I’d make it through the storm. But now I’m doing really good. Thank you," he said.
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