Tom Hanks’ hit movie Cast Away instilled fear in all of us about what would happen if we had to survive alone on a deserted island. One Australian sailor had his own Cast Away experience when he was forced lived off the ocean for three months floating on a small sailboat.
Tim Shaddock, a 51-year-old boating enthusiast from Sydney, set a course from La Paz, Mexico to French Polynesia—a 3,700-mile journey—on his catamaran in April 2023. He brought along his trusty dog Bella to keep him company. But their plans were upended when a nasty storm damaged the vessel and knocked out its communications devices, leaving the man and his dog stranded in the North Pacific.
On July 13, Shaddock and Bella were discovered by a helicopter that was accompanying a tuna trawler off the coast of Mexico. Australian news outlet 9News spoke with the sailor after his rescue. He and Bella survived all that time by eating raw fish and drinking rainwater, and he avoided sunburn and dehydration by hiding under the boat’s canopy.
“I have been through a very difficult ordeal at sea,” he said, sporting a bushy beard. “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.”
Shaddock’s experience is the latest instance of a sailor having to think on their feet to avoid catastrophe on the ocean. In December 2022, a 47-year-old man from Dominica survived 24 days in the Caribbean by eating ketchup and seasonings. And back in early 2020, a Singaporean man spent nearly three months alone in the Pacific after docks around the world closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It remains unclear if Shaddock and Bella will get back on the high seas any time soon. For now, man and his best friend will likely just enjoy the comfort of stable ground and a home-cooked meal.
Source link: https://www.mensjournal.com/news/cast-away-australian-sailor-lost-at-sea by Chris Malone Méndez at www.mensjournal.com