Sailor forced to abandon dog who ‘rescued’ him while stranded at sea | world news

Seaman drifts at sea with dog for three months and has to leave him behind AFP

Sailor Tim Shaddock gave up his beloved dog Bella after the miracle rescue this week (Pic: Ulises Ruiz)

Little dog Bella followed sailor Tim Shaddock wherever he went.

When he tried to find her a home in Mexico, she repeatedly refused to leave his side.

She chose Tim as her owner – and the sailor followed her.

“Bella somehow found me in the middle of Mexico,” he said. “She wouldn’t let me go.” I tried three times to find her a home and she just kept following me to the water.’

Earlier this week, the couple were miraculously rescued after spending three months together in the Pacific Ocean, surviving by “eating a lot of sushi” and “drinking rainwater.”

Even after they were rescued, Bella didn’t want to leave Tim’s boat until he was driven away.

It’s all the more heartbreaking that they can no longer be together.

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Tim said Bella “wouldn’t let him go” after he first met her in Mexico and “followed him to the water” (Image: AFP)

Tim, an Australian citizen, returns to his home country to spend time with friends and family after meeting Tom Hanks in real life on Cast Away.

The 54-year-old leaves his beloved pooch in the capable hands of one of the crew aboard the tuna trawler Marie Delia, who came to his rescue.

He chose Genaro Rosales to adopt Bella on the condition that he would take good care of her.

His decision was also likely somewhat forced on him due to the complex, rigorous and costly nature of the process required to bring pets into Australia.


One of the crew members of the Maria Delia adopted Bella (Image: AP)

In this July 12, 2023 photo provided by Grupomar/Atun Tuny, Australian Tim Shaddock's dog Bella rolls on the deck after both were rescued by a Mexican tuna boat in international waters after being adrift for three months. Haddock and Bella were about 1,200 miles offshore aboard his disabled catamaran, Aloha Toa, when they were rescued. (Grupomar/Atun Tuny via AP)

It would be very difficult for Tim to bring Bella back to Australia with him (Image: AP)

Dogs must be vaccinated, microchipped and undergo a quarantine period before being allowed full entry into the country from ‘approved countries’.

Unfortunately, Mexico is not on Australia’s list of approved countries for importing pets, making it even more difficult to bring Bella with you.

After they were taken to safety, Tim described Bella, who was immediately well received by the boat crew, as “amazing” and said, “She’s a lot braver than me, that’s for sure.”

When asked how Bella was, he replied, “This dog is different.” She is a beautiful animal. I’m just thankful that she’s alive.’


Tim described Bella as “something different” and said she was a “beautiful animal” (Image: AFP)

Australian seaman Tim Shaddock shows the thumbs up after arriving at the port of Manzanillo, Colima state, July 18, 2023. An Australian sailor and his dog were rescued after more than two months in the Pacific Ocean and survived the ordeal by drinking rainwater and eating raw fish. Shaddock and his dog Bella set off in a catamaran from the Mexican coastal city of La Paz in April and planned to sail about 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) before dropping anchor in tropical French Polynesia. (Photo by ULISES RUIZ/AFP) (Photo by ULISES RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Australian sailor Tim Shaddock gave a thumbs up as he arrived at the port of Manzanillo, Mexico on Tuesday after surviving three months at sea on his small catamaran (Image: AFP)

Professor Mike Tipton, an expert in marine survival, also said that having his mate by his side may have made the difference between life and death.

He told The Sun: “They live a lot of day-to-day life.” “You have to have a very positive mental attitude to go through that kind of ordeal and not give up.”

Tim admitted he “didn’t think he could do it” when his catamaran was badly damaged by adverse weather just weeks after the 3,700-mile voyage from La Paz on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula west to French Polynesia.

Although he was well taken care of, the storm had left him with no power, no navigation systems, and no ability to cook, meaning he and Bella lived on raw fish.

In this July 12, 2023 photo provided by Grupomar/Atun Tuny, Australian Tim Shaddock has his blood pressure taken after he was rescued by a Mexican tuna boat in international waters after spending three months adrift with his dog. Haddock and his dog, Bella, were aboard his disabled catamaran, the Aloha Toa, about 1,900 miles from shore when they were rescued. (Grupomar/Atun Tuny via AP)

Tim and Bella survived on raw fish and rainwater (Image: AP)

The last time he saw land was in early May, sailing out of the Gulf of California into the Pacific under a full moon.

Almost three months after departing, the fishing boat Marie Delia’s helicopter spotted its catamaran by sheer luck some 1,200 miles offshore.

The pilot poured him a drink, then flew away and later returned from the trawler in a speedboat.

Emotional footage captured the incredible moment as Tim and his dog Bella, who was wagging her tail excitedly, were incredibly relieved to discover they had been rescued.


The crew of a Mexican tuna boat rescued Tim and Bella from his catamaran (Image: AFP)

Grupomar, operator of the fishing fleet, said both Tim and his dog were in a “poor” condition when they were found, lacking provisions and shelter.

It also said the crew gave them medical attention, food and hydration before they were taken to the city of Manazillo, Mexico.

Tim said, “What do you think of the captain and this fishing company that saved my life?” I’m just so grateful. I’m alive and didn’t really think I would make it.

“I feel really good.” I had problems – my health was pretty bad for a while. I was pretty hungry and didn’t think I would weather the storm.

“But I’m really fine now.”

Australian Timothy Lyndsay Shaddock (right) poses for photos with Grupo Mar President Antonio Suarez during a welcoming ceremony after he was rescued from the sea and arrived at the port of Manzanillo, Mexico on Tuesday July 18, 2023. After being adrift with his dog for three months, Shaddock and his dog were rescued by the crew of the Grupo Mar tuna boat from a disabled catamaran in the Pacific Ocean about 1,200 miles from land. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Grupomar President Antonio Suarez and Tim Shaddock together at a welcome ceremony after the seaman’s rescue (Image: AP)

Tim spent the time at sea fixing things and staying positive by going into the sea to “just enjoy the water”.

He added: “I enjoyed being at sea, I enjoyed being out there.” But when it gets tough out there, you have to survive. And then when you’re saved, you feel a desire to live, so I’m very grateful.”

Antonio Suarez, President of Grupomar, said this could be the Maria Delia’s last voyage as he is modernizing the company’s fleet and the boat is the smallest, being more than 50 years old.

If so, it would be a “wonderful farewell that saves lives,” Mr Suarez said.

In February, a man identified as Elvis Francois was rescued by the Colombian Navy after being stranded on a sailboat in the Caribbean for 24 days.

Last year, a Brazilian gardener named Nelson Nedy was found on a deserted island after living on two lemons and charcoal for five days.

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Justin Scaccy

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