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Sailor And Dog Stranded For 3 Months At Sea Finally Found In “Needle In A Haystack” Rescue.

A two-photo collage. The first photo shows Tim's boat out on the ocean. The second photo shows Tim sitting on a bench in a trawler, cleaned up more and smiling.

There’s always some level of risk when we venture out into the ocean, but Tim Shaddock never would have imagined he’d find himself in a situation like this one. Three months ago, him and his dog, Bella, hopped on a white catamaran in La Paz, Mexico. Their goal was to reach French Polynesia, but they never made it there.

About a month after departing, a storm came their way, wiping out all of the electronics on the boat. This left 51-year-old Tim and Bella left to their own devices until help arrived. But being out on a small boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean would be no easy task.

In addition to taking care of himself, Tim was also responsible for watching over his four-legged friend. Luckily, Tim had fishing gear which he used to gather raw fish for them both to dine on. Their source of water came from the rain.

Even with a plan for water and food in place, there was the deadly heat to navigate. To avoid getting sunburned, he often kept shelter under the boat’s canopy. According to experts, this truly was a life-saving choice.

“If you get sunburn, that affects your ability to regulate your body temperature,” Mike Tipton, a physiology professor at the extreme environment laboratory at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, said.

Three months into their journey, a miracle happened. A Mexican tuna trawler, which was accompanied by a helicopter, managed to spot the small boat in the vast water. They stopped to help, and it was in that moment that Tim and Bella’s life finally changed for the better.

“I’m just needing rest and good food because I’ve been alone at sea a long time,” Tim told the folks who rescued him. “I have not had food, enough food, for a long time.”

A doctor onboard the trawler was able to report that, despite everything the 51-year-old had endured, his vital signs looked normal. Him and Bella still have a ways to go before they’re back on dry land and can receive further medical care – they ventured out far in those three months – but their spirits are high.

Even experts are amazed at how this story has turned out. Not only because Tim and Bella survived but because they were found at all – Professor Mike Tipton, an ocean survival expert, calls it “a needle in a haystack” type of rescue.

“People need to appreciate how small the boat is and how vast the Pacific is,” Mike said. “The chances of someone being found are pretty slim.”

Credit is also being given to Bella for giving Tim the morale boost needed to survive this type of ordeal.

“He had companionship,” Mike said. “Once you’ve got enough food and water, then I think the dog has an advantage. Your survival time is as long as you can keep collecting water, getting occasional food and doing things that help you stay positive.”

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here and here!

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