MEXICO CITY: An Australian sailor rescued with a stray dog after more than two months adrift on the Pacific Ocean has decided to leave his canine companion in Mexico with the captain of the ship that saved them.
Timothy Shaddock and his dog Bella were picked up by a tuna vessel after surviving for weeks on raw fish and rainwater while aboard a storm-struck boat.
Shaddock arrived at the Mexican port of Manzanillo on Tuesday thin, with a bushy beard and wild hair bunched into a cap bearing the logo of fishing company Grupomar, whose vessel had rescued him.
“The dog was given by Timothy to the captain of the ship that saved his life,” Grupomar’s director Antonio Guerra told local media yesterday.
Shaddock, 54, and Bella had set off from Mexico’s seaside city La Paz in April, and planned to sail about 6,000km before dropping anchor in French Polynesia.
But they soon found themselves stranded after rough seas damaged the boat and knocked out its electronics.
In a rescue reminiscent of the Tom Hanks movie “Cast Away”, the bedraggled amateur yachtsman was plucked from the water more than two months later by a tuna trawler, “more than 1,200 miles from land”, according to Grupomar.
Shaddock said he had found Bella in Mexico shortly before departing.
After failing to find the stray dog a home, he decided to bring her along as a traveling companion.
“She’s amazing. That dog is something else,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“I’m just grateful she’s alive. She is a lot braver than I am.”