MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - An Australian sailor finally touched dry land on Tuesday in the Mexican port city of Manzanillo, capping off months spent adrift at sea with his dog until a surprise rescue by a Mexican fishing ship.
The castaway, 54-year-old Timothy Lyndsay Shaddock, was spotted by a fishing boat owned by seafood group Grupomar with his hound, Bella, on a catamaran in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico, the company said Monday.
The sailor and his pup originally set sail in April from the Mexican coastal city of La Paz bound for French Polynesia about 3,728 miles (6,000 km) away.
A few weeks into their journey, however, they become stranded after a rough storm damaged their catamaran and knocked out its communication equipment, preventing Shaddock from calling for help.
They survived the ordeal by eating raw fish and drinking rain water, Grupomar said in a statement.
"I'm just so grateful. I'm alive," said Shaddock, sporting a bushy beard and long hair topped by a hat featuring the logo for "Tuny," a Grupomar tuna brand.
He was welcomed ashore, where he said he was now feeling "great" despite having struggled with hunger while adrift.
When asked how Bella was doing after the rescue, Shaddock said she was "amazing." The pup posed for photos with the "Tuny" crew.
"That dog is something else," Shaddock said, adding that he had found Bella in Mexico before they embarked on their fateful journey.
(Reporting by Valentine Hilaire and Reuters TV; Writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Sandra Maler)