Australian sailor rescued from sea after two months is a cancer survivor

The Sydney sailor, who ate raw fish and drank rainwater, said that he had been "through a very difficult ordeal at sea"

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Australian Tim Shaddock has is blood pressure taken after being rescued by a Mexican tuna boat in international waters. (Grupomar/Atun Tuny via AP)
Australian Tim Shaddock has is blood pressure taken after being rescued by a Mexican tuna boat in international waters. (Grupomar/Atun Tuny via AP)

Published: Tue 18 Jul 2023, 11:52 AM

Last updated: Tue 18 Jul 2023, 12:13 PM

An Australian man who survived two months stranded at sea is "stable and very well", his doctor has told 9News.

Tim Shaddock’s mother said he sent a voice message after his miraculous rescue by a fishing trawler. “He was elated, he was safe. I have been to church to give thanks,” she said, according to The Sun.

She added that she “can’t wait” to see him but that she will not stop her son — a 51-year-old cancer survivor —from going on voyages in the future.

Bella rolls on the deck after the rescue. (Grupomar/Atun Tuny via AP)
Bella rolls on the deck after the rescue. (Grupomar/Atun Tuny via AP)

Shaddock and and his dog Bella were sailing from Mexico to French Polynesia when rough seas damaged their boat and its electronics system, leaving them cut off from the world, according to CBS News.

They had been adrift in the Pacific Ocean for two months — and, finally, saved by a tuna trawler. They were spotted off the coast of Mexico on July 12 by a helicopter.

The Sydney sailor, who survived by eating raw fish and drinking rainwater, told 9News that he had been "through a very difficult ordeal at sea" and needed "rest and good food". His dog, Bella, was also looking safe and well, 9News added.

Ocean survival expert professor Mike Tipton told 9News that “having a plan, rationing yourself in terms of water and food, is really the secret to long survival voyages”.

The expert added that Shaddock will now have to slowly get back to his normal diet and monitor his health for several months.

Shaddock and Bella after being rescued. (Grupomar/Atun Tuny via AP)
Shaddock and Bella after being rescued. (Grupomar/Atun Tuny via AP)

The Sun report cited above added that Shaddock, who worked in the Information Technology (IT) sector, was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in early 2000.

He took a “holistic approach to healing instead of the conventional road of treatment” and chose "fasting, juicing and smoothies".

The sailor said he discovered ideas to stay healthy as he travelled and found that he was “still alive despite the lapse of time and things were getting better each moment”.

Shaddock claimed in a 2013 blog post that he undertook a "fully raw" diet to beat the deadly disease, according to Daily Mail.

In an interview with The Raw Food Kitchen, he claimed he had turned to a "fully raw" diet and rejected western medicine following the advancement of his diagnosis, the report added. He claimed that his diet shocked doctors.

A healthy lifestyle and dietary choices reduce the risk of developing the deadly disease. But there is no scientific evidence that holistic medicine can cure cancer.

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