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'Real life Cast Away' man and his dog rescued after being lost at sea for three months

Jess Battison

| Last updated 

Usually ‘every man and his dog’ would suggest there were a lot of people there. But in this man and dog’s case, there were the only ones around.

Tim Shaddock and his four-legged friend were recently rescued in a real-life case of Cast Away.

The 2000 survival film starring Tom Hanks sees his character Chuck Noland survive a plane crash and end up stranded on an island for four years all alone.

And in this 2023 real-life situation, sailor Shaddock departed from La Paz in Mexico to French Polynesia back in April.


However, his catamaran became victim to terribly stormy weather within just a few weeks, causing damage to the electronics.

All communications on the boat were cut off and Shaddock and his dog Bella were left alone, helpless.

Tim and his dog Bella were stranded at sea for three months. Credit: 9News
Tim and his dog Bella were stranded at sea for three months. Credit: 9News

But like true heroes, stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, they survived on raw fish and rainwater.


It’s understood that the Australian used the boat’s shelter to shield himself from suffering severe sunburn.

Thankfully quicker than Chuck Noland’s fictional situation though, Shaddock was found after being stranded for around three months.

Bella and the Aussie sailor were spotted by a tuna trawler and it's helicopter out in the ocean.

Despite a rather rugged, grown-out beard and quite a skinny figure, neither Shaddock nor the pup have suffered any kind of major injury or illness.


When he was found by the boat, he told the crew he’s ‘just got fishing gear, survival gear’ and nothing else.

Tim was found by a tuna trawler. Credit: 9News
Tim was found by a tuna trawler. Credit: 9News

Joined by a waggy-tailed Bella, Shaddock told Australia’s 9News: “I have been through a very difficult ordeal at sea.

“I’m just needing rest and good food because I have been alone at sea a long time. Otherwise, I’m in very good health.


“I have very good medicine and I’m being looked after very well.”

Shaddock and Bella are currently being taken across the Pacific back to Mexico by the tuna trawler where they will receive more medical treatment.

Dairy farmers Lyn and Dougal sold their family farm in Staffordshire to buy a 50-year-old boat and set off on a voyage around the world. They were joined by 18-year-old daughter Anne, 16-year-old son Douglas and nine-year-old twin sons Neil and Sandy.


Over a year and a half in, disaster struck when the boat sank after a killer whale attack. Thankfully, the family got on their inflatable life raft and fibreglass dingy. Somehow, with only enough water for 10 days and three days of emergency food rations, they survived.

Eating fish and drinking turtles’ blood they eventually were rescued by a Japanese fishing trawler after 38 days.

Topics: Australia, World News, Weird

Jess Battison
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