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Australian Sailor Rescued After Being Spotted Adrift in the Pacific

An Australian sailor and his dog were rescued by a Mexican fishing boat after having spent almost three months in the Pacific Ocean. Timothy Shaddock, 54, originally from Sydney, Australia, had left La Paz in May headed for French Polynesia, aboard his Wharram catamaran Aloha Toa. Weeks into the voyage the boat was crippled in a storm, Australia’s Nine News reported. Around two months later, Shaddock’s drifting boat was spotted by a Mexican tuna trawler’s helicopter, approximately 1200 miles from land.

The helicopter was searching for tuna when the pilot spotted “something bobbing,” the New York Times reports. The pilot dropped down a water bottle before heading back to the fishing boat. Soon after, a small boat arrived to take Shaddock and his dog Bella back to the main ship. After staying aboard the trawler Maria Delia while they completed their voyage, Shaddock set foot on land in Manzanillo, Mexico, on Tuesday, where he was greeted by a contingent of well-wishers and reporters.

Australian sailor after being rescued
Shaddock and Bella soon after being taken aboard the Maria Delia.
© 2023 Grupomar/Facebook

“I’m just so grateful,” Shaddock said of Maria Delia’s captain and crew, and Grupomar, the company that owns the trawler. “I’m alive, and I really didn’t think I’d make it.” And while he appeared a little overwhelmed at his reception, Shaddock did his best to answer the reporters’ questions.

The helicopter that spotted Shaddock was the first “human vehicle” he had seen in months. His last sight of land had been from the Sea of Cortez, under the May full moon. He and Bella survived by drinking rainwater and supplementing their provisions with fresh-caught fish, which they ate raw as, along with all the electronics, Aloha Toa‘s cooking facilities were disabled in the storm. He told reporters that his health had deteriorated while adrift — “I was pretty hungry” — but after being rescued and spending time aboard the Maria Delia and eating their food, “I feel really good.”

“I want to thank Antonio Suárez [Gutierrez] and his company for saving and for looking after me. I’m very, very grateful. Thank you,” he said looking at the man next to him.

Shaddock was, at times, philosophical about his ordeal. “There were many bad days. And many good days,” Shaddock said. “The fatigue is the hardest part,” he told reporters. “You’re always fixing something. And for me, I would try and find happiness inside myself. And I found that a lot, alone at sea. I would go in the water, too, and just enjoy being in the water.” During an interview, he told a Nine News reporter in an interview that he had been in communication with his family throughout his time at sea, via his Garmin inReach.

You can watch the interview here.
© 2023 Screenshot/

Aloha Toa, which Shaddock describes as “a French Polynesian, traditional boat,” that is made for ocean sailing, is still adrift in the Pacific. While the rescued sailor has no immediate plans to go to sea, he still says he loves the ocean. “I very much enjoy sailing, and I love the people of the sea.” At this point he is looking forward to going home to Australia and spending time with his family.


  1. Shel 5 months ago

    I don’t get why he’s giving up his dog now.

  2. Steve Haas 5 months ago

    I don’t understand, the report says he was in contact with family throughout his voyage via Garmin Inreach? How come they didn’t send out rescue party?

    • robert cleveland 5 months ago

      I agree about the Garmin reach they need power after awhile what’s the. Story there??
      As usual there’s a bigger story we will never know 🙈🤦‍♂️🙈🤦‍♂️🙈

  3. Tim Dick 5 months ago

    I’m confused him stating that “During an interview, he told a Nine News reporter in an interview that he had been in communication with his family throughout his time at sea, via his Garmin inReach” which has a tracking and rescue beacon function. Something doesn’t add up here…

  4. Terry Jackson 5 months ago

    If he could communicate wi his family why was he left at sea for 3 months?

  5. jose kanusee 5 months ago

    something seriously fishy about this…

  6. Shirley McCulloch 5 months ago

    Yes….we need a follow up interview with Shaddock to give more details….Thank you…Lectronic Latitidue.

  7. Matt Willis 5 months ago

    I built that boat, happy he’s ok, besides being overloaded she looks fine and worthy in rescue footage. It breaks my heart to think she was abandoned. So he lost his electronics, there are two compas’s on the boat. You can sail easily 700 miles in a week. Why after 3 months was he only 1200 miles off? Even if you were just drifting you would be further off than that. I wonder who sold this boat to the inexperienced sailor. Very irresponsible!!! BTW. I built the boat, but not the ugly bridge deck cabin.
    My best hope is the boat drifts up on an atoll somewhere and doesn’t get destroyed and the locals there turn it into good use. How many perfectly good boats get abandoned every year because of lack of preparation and experience.

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Open Space on the Bay Area Waterfront
The new India Basin Waterfront Park will be up to 22 acres and include a new boathouse, a recreational dock for fishing and kayaking, a bikeway and two public piers — amenities that will open next year, according to the 'The Standard;' the rest of the park will be finished in 2026.