Real life castaway claims he has been adrift for more than an entire year. Though there has been some skepticism as to how anyone could survive 13 months in such a small sea boat, aimlessly drifting on the Pacific Ocean. The man has returned home and was claimed by his family. Washed out to sea has reversed to being back home and getting washed up.
Jose Salvador Alvarenga, and his tattered and barnacle coated watercraft seemed to show up out of nowhere last Thursday on the very small and very remote Ebon atoll in the Marshall Islands. With long sun bleached hair and the bushy beard to match it, the man claims to have been living off of turtles, fish, and birds such as seagulls that he was able to catch. He collected rainwater to drink along with seagull blood and sometimes even his own urine while desperately seeking hydration.
Authorities are thoroughly investigating the full details of Alvarenga’s incredible tale of survival, and have confirmed that the man originally being from El Salvador, was indeed living in Tonal ‘a Chiapas state, Mexico. The citizens were stunned to realize the man had been washed out to sea for over a year.
Apparently Alvarenga and an unnamed teenage companion had prepared for a one-day shark fishing trip scheduled to leave Dec. 21, 2012 out of the town of Costa Azul, stated undersecretary for the State of Chiapas, Reynaldo Aguilar Martinez.
Alvarenga told Marshall Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that around a month after they left Costa Azul was when he lost the teen, because he had refused to eat uncooked birds. No details have been released about what actually happened to the body of his companion, other than “he lost him.”
In a statement made to the Telegraph, Alvarenga told reporters he was “suicidal for four days” after the youth’s death. “I wanted to kill myself. But I couldn’t feel the desire; I didn’t want to feel the pain. I couldn’t do it.” Upon his miraculous arrival to Ebon Atoll he stated “I had just killed a bird to eat, and saw some trees.”
When he reached the land of the two square mile island, all he wanted was sleep, and he got a “mountain” of it, he said. When he woke to the call of a rooster, he encountered two women near their home screaming and yelling.
“I didn’t have any clothes; I was only in my underwear, and they were ripped and torn.”
Reporters located family members of the castaway in his native town of Garita Palmera in El Salvador. They have been praying for his safe return. “God willing, my son is not dead. God willing, my son is alive. And were going to see him again one day. I’m very happy after learning that he’s alive and that we will have him back home,” his father Ricardo stated.
Video taken from the rescue shows Alvarenga 37, waving to the people gathered around as he was escorted to an ambulance, and shuttled off to the hospital where he is recovering.
Tom Armbruster, U.S. ambassador to the Marshall Islands said “He’s in much better than one would expect after such an ordeal.”
The fisherman’s year long voyage, if proven true would have carried him nearly 7,000 miles, drifting nearly 20 miles per day, meandering in and out of currants, before his final landing in the Marshall Islands around halfway between Hawaii and Australia, in the North Pacific.
Some experts say the man’s story is not entirely impossible, or unheard of. Due to the some of the conditions in the Pacific it may be very well be possible.
In 2006 a similar situation happened where three Mexican fisherman were adrift for over nine months, also surviving on whatever they could catch from their boat. Alvarenga, the former castaway told authorities that he is a citizen of El Salvador but has been working and living in Mexico for 15 years, where he wishes to be returned. The amazing tale of the man washed out to sea for 13 months is not over yet. For now, Alvarenga is washing up and heading home.
by Aaron Thompson