A Mexican shark fishermen lost at sea turned up last week in the Marshall Islands after presumably drifting for 5,500 miles for 13 months across the Pacific Ocean.
The Associated Press reported that last Thursday, 37-year-old Jose Salvador Alvarenga showed up on the tiny island of Ebon Atoll in the island nation of the Marshall Islands. On Monday, he was taken to the country’s capitol, Majuro, where he recounted his story to US ambassador and other officials.
Alvarenga’s story is spectacular. He claims that on December 21, 2012, he set out from the Mexican coastal town of Tonala for a day of shark fishing in his 23-foot fiberglass boat. Alvarenga says he was accompanied by a teenage boy who he knew only as Ezekiel, who he estimated to be between the ages of 15 to 18.
Lost At SeaJose Salvador Alvarenga swam ashore on the tiny Pacific island of Ebon Atoll. Alvarenga claims to have survived for 13 months at sea by eating raw fish, turtles and drinking the blood of birds.
He says a storm blew them off course and left them floating adrift in the sea. To survive, Alvarenga and Ezekiel ate small fish and turtles and caught birds to eat their meat and drink their blood. After a month out at sea, Alvarenga said that Ezekiel died.
Alvarenga claims to have survived for another 12 months at sea by himself. The Mexican shark fishermen lost at sea eventually saw land and swam ashore. He’d touched down in Ebon Atoll, some 5,500 miles away in from where he had started.
“It does sound like an incredible story, and I’m not sure if I believe his story,” said Gee Bing, the foreign affairs secretary for the Marshall Islands, who met with Alvarenga during the meeting in Majuro.
Photos of the Mexican shark fishermen lost at sea after his rescue showed a heavily bearded man with long hair. He did not appear gaunt, but he did look like a castaway.
The Associated Press also reported that with the currents of the Pacific Ocean, a scenario like Alvarenga’s, in which a boat would drift from Mexico to the Marshall Islands, is entirely plausible.
Alvarenga told authorities that his hometown is Garita Palmera in El Salvador. The Mexican government is currently coordinating with the El Salvadorian government to determine more information about the Mexican shark fishermen lost at sea.