ADRIFT, alone and growing thin – Tim Shaddock was lost at sea for two months and believed he was done for.
The real-life castaway, 51, somehow survived the mercy of currents in a 30ft storm-battered catamaran and has now revealed the habits that kept him alive.
Accompanied by his stray dog Bella, Tim left Mexico in April and were headed on a 3,728-mile voyage to French Polynesia when their boat was ravaged by a storm.
The Australian sailor’s electronics, navigation system, sail and cooking equipment had been destroyed and they were stranded 2000km out to sea.
In a pure miracle, a helicopter scouting far out in the Eastern Pacific for a school of tuna instead scouted Tim. It alerted its nearby deep-sea fishing trawler and the pair were rescued.
A gaunt, shaggy-bearded Tim and his beloved pet were hauled to safety on July 12.
How a former IT specialist survived such an ordeal baffled the world, but a now-freshly shaven Tim has explained how he did it.
The Aussie said his survival instincts kicked in and he made sure to always keep himself busy and his mind focused.
He occupied himself with fixing things on the boat and devising creative DIY hacks to catch more rainwater.
“A lot of sushi” was also central to keeping himself and Bella alive over many weeks, and Tim spent lots of the time during the day fishing.
To avoid the fatigue and feelings of isolation, the castaway sought solace in meditation and taking time to write in his journal.
Swimming also became a kind of therapy for Tim and feeding Bella each day brought him a much-needed purpose that stopped him falling into despair.
Andrés Zamorano, the pilot on the helicopter that first spotted Tim, believes the obligation he felt to saving Bella kept him going.
The brave survivor equally credits his Mexican street dog with his survival, stating that Bella was “braver than I am”.
Once back on dry land in Mexico, Tim told reporters: “I’m feeling alright. I’m feeling a lot better than I was, I tell ya.”
He reported that he felt “in very good health” but was in need of rest and “good food”.
In a heartbreaking turn, Tim was forced to leave Bella behind as he returned to Australia due its strict laws on the import of live animals.
The canine who “found” him in Mexico has been adopted by one of the tuna crew, Genaro Rosales, who helped to save Tim’s life.