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WATCH: 'Cast Away' sailor back on dry land

An Australian sailor rescued with his dog after more than two months adrift in the Pacific Ocean arrived in Mexico Tuesday declaring "I am so grateful. I'm alive."

Tim Shaddock was picked up with his dog "Bella" by a tuna vessel after the pair survived for weeks on raw fish and rainwater on their storm-crippled boat.

He arrived Tuesday at the Mexican port of Manzanillo, thin, with a bushy beard and wild hair bunched into a red cap sporting a logo of fishing company Grupomar, whose vessel had come to his rescue.

"To the captain and this fishing company that saved my life, I mean, what do you say? I'm just so grateful," Shaddock told waiting reporters.

"I'm alive... I really didn't think I'd make it, you know? So thank you, thank you so much."

Shaddock, who according to Grupomar is 54 years old, and Bella had set off from Mexico's seaside city of La Paz in April and planned to sail about 6,000 kilometres before dropping anchor in tropical French Polynesia.

But they soon found themselves stranded after rough seas damaged the vessel, which he described as a French Polynesian traditional boat named "Aloha Toa," and knocked out its electronics.

In an unlikely 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 Mexican tuna trawler, "more than 1,200 miles from land" according to Grupomar.

Posted on 19 Jul 2023 15:58 link