Ahen the crew of a tuna boat 2,200 kilometers off the Mexican coast asked the name of a somewhat confused shipwrecked man with a full beard, he thought briefly: “I’m Tim Shaddock. I’m from Australia.” He’s emaciated, wears a cap against the scorching sun, and his white shirt is soiled.
When he boards the Mexican ship, Shaddock is interviewed by the Australian television station 9News: “What I need most of all now is rest and good food because I’ve been at sea alone for so long.” On board he first drinks a coffee, doctors measure his blood pressure, he does not appear to have any serious health problems. His dog Bella also seems to be doing well.
The Australian with the shaggy gray mane was missing for almost three months. In April he set out for French Polynesia on his catamaran. After just a few weeks at sea, the duo were caught in a storm that disabled the boat’s electronics. To survive, he fished for himself and his dog and collected rainwater.
Tim Shaddock is familiar with radical diets, maybe that helped him. After being diagnosed with colon cancer in the early 2000s, he switched to raw food, ate almost exclusively green vegetable juice for three months – and defied the disease, as he said in an interview in 2013.
Ready for Hollywood?
Many users celebrate the Australian and his dog on Instagram. Some compare him to Tom Hanks in the role of the missing person in the 2000 film “Cast Away”. Others see the odyssey as a story at least as impressive as in the adventure drama “Life of Pi” from 2012. Why shouldn’t Tim Shaddock’s Pacific Odyssey to be made into a film?
On Tuesday he returned to the mainland in Mexico: “I’m so grateful,” says Shaddock to the cameras. “I’m alive!” He thanks the crew of the tuna steamer and praises his dog Bella: “She’s much braver than me.”