Castaway Drifts Ashore After a Year At Sea

Jose Salvador Alvarenga

A shipwrecked sailor washed ashore on the Marshall Islands after spending over a year adrift in the Pacific Ocean.

Jose Salvador Alvarenga, 37, initially embarked from Mexico in late 2012 and drifted 6,000 miles towards the Pacific islands, where he was discovered on January 30, 2014 in a badly damaged 22-foot fiberglass boat. 

The Guardian reports that the castaway told his rescuers that he left his homeland on a one-day fishing trip with a companion named Ezequiel, who died after several months at sea.  Alvarengo survived by catching turtles and drinking their blood, drinking rain water, and eating dead birds.

The details of Jose Salvador's incredible and unbelievable journey have been difficult to piece together. The Mexican government has confirmed Alvarenga’s identity, stating he was a native of El Salvador living in Tonala, Mexico. He claims to have set off from a port in Costa Azul, Mexico for a one-day fishing expedition on an unknown date in late 2012. He claims that him and his passenger were blown out to sea and caught in a storm. 

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