How would you survive in the middle of the blue water ocean if your boat drifted way off course and you had no way of reaching shore again unless you were rescued? Timothy Lyndsay Shaddock and his dog Bella had to figure out just that when their damaged boat drifted far out to sea and wasn’t found for three months.
So, how did the man and his dog duo do it? Rainwater and raw fish. According to a report on their rescue in Fox News Digital, the Australian sailor and his dog were found 1200 miles into the Pacific after three months of having been gone and were able to survive for those long months off of rainwater and fish that Shaddock caught. With no way to cook the fish in the catamaran, they had to eat the fish raw.
Despite the monotonous and not-so-varied diet, however, the two were in good health. Shaddock, commenting on the boring diet but good health he is in, said, “I’ve been through a very difficult ordeal at sea, and I’m just needing rest and good food because I’ve been alone at sea a long time. Otherwise, I’m in very good health.”
Watch the interview in which he made that comment here:
Commenting on Tim Shaddock’s survival at sea for so long, Mike Tipton, an ocean survival expert, said that he was able to because of both luck and skill. For example, he said that staying out of the heat of the day, something Shaddock did, is important: “And also knowing, for example, as Tim did, that during the heat of the day, you need to protect yourself because the last thing you want when you’re in danger of becoming dehydrated is to be sweating.”
He also commented that Shaddock was fortunate he was in a warmer climate, despite the dehydration issue, than a cold one, as the heat is survivable but bitter cold isn’t: “These voyages of any great length tend to occur in the Pacific. If you look back through history, they tend to occur in warm environments, because if it was a cold environment, you don’t survive long enough.”
Further, he said that Shaddock’s being stranded with Bella, “may have well made the difference” in his survival, as he had something alive with him to struggle alongside. He said, ”You’re living very much from day to day, and you have to have a very positive mental attitude in order to get through this kind of ordeal and not give up.” He added, “Just imagine how dark and lonely it would feel out there at nighttime.”
Returning to the topic of skill, Tipton noted that Shaddock did the right thing in rationing his resources, saying, “But also, having a plan, rationing yourself in terms of water and food, is really the secret to long survival voyages.”
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
"*" indicates required fields