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Where's Wilson? Real-Life 'Cast Away' and Dog Rescued After Months Adrift in Pacific

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An Australian man and his dog have been rescued after three months of drifting at sea and surviving on raw fish and rainwater.

Fifty-one-year-old Tim Shaddock and his dog Bella, both from Sydney, Australia, set sail three months ago from La Paz, Mexico, on a small catamaran boat headed for French Polynesia.

Only a month into the trip, the two got stuck in a storm that disabled the boat and left them drifting in the South Pacific Ocean, according to Australian news network Nine News.

During this time, Shaddock kept himself and his dog alive by catching rainwater and eating raw fish.

He was eventually discovered last weekend by a helicopter conducting surveillance for a tuna trawler, the New York Post reported. The ship carried Shaddock back to Mexico and delivered him to the proper authorities for care.

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“I have been through a very difficult ordeal at sea,” Shaddock told Nine News after his rescue. “I’m just needing rest and good food because I have been alone at sea a long time.

“I have not had food, enough food, for a long time,” he said, adding: “Otherwise I’m in very good health.”

Mike Tipton, a U.K. professor of physiology and an expert in naval survival, said Shaddock’s chances of getting rescued — especially by people who weren’t even searching for him — was like finding a “needle in a haystack.”

Do you believe having his dog with him was a key element of his survival?

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

He praised Shaddock’s smart thinking of keeping his physical activity to a minimum and staying out of the sun, saying that this helped him reduce the amount of water he lost through sweating.

“If you get sunburn, that affects your ability to regulate your body temperature,” Tipton explained to NBC News. “If you do absolutely nothing and you rest and you stay cool, you can get away with as less as 110 to 220 milliliters of water a day.”

“It was a combination of luck and the right behavior,” he opined.

This is Shaddock’s second miracle now, since he also survived bowel cancer 20 years earlier, according to the Post.

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Many have likened Shaddock’s story to the fictional movie “Cast Away.”

The 2000 survival drama stars Tom Hanks as Chuck Noland, a FedEx worker who gets stranded on an island after being the sole survivor of a plane crash.

Unlike Shaddock, Noland didn’t have a dog to keep him company and instead created a friend out of a “Wilson” brand volleyball.

Shaddock’s story did mirror Noland’s in the fact that he was rescued at sea and both appeared emaciated, with long, shaggy hair and beards.

Fortunately for Shaddock, he was only stranded for a few months while Noland was missing for four years.

He will likely remain under medical observation for the next several months.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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