Subscribe Register Login

Thursday, August 28, 2014, 6:10 a.m.
Top Picks - Arkansas Daily Deal

Man says he ate birds, turtles in 13 months adrift

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 3, 2014 at 10:04 a.m.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — It's a story that almost defies belief: A man leaves Mexico in December 2012 for a day of shark fishing and ends up surviving 13 months on fish, birds and turtles before washing ashore on the remote Marshall Islands some 5,500 miles away.

But that's the story a man identifying himself as 37-year-old Jose Salvador Alvarenga told the U.S. ambassador in the Marshall Islands and the nation's officials during a 30-minute meeting Monday before he was taken to a local hospital for monitoring. Alvarenga washed ashore on the tiny atoll of Ebon in the Pacific Ocean last week before being taken to the capital, Majuro, on Monday.

"It's hard for me to imagine someone surviving 13 months at sea," said Ambassador Tom Armbruster in Majuro. "But it's also hard to imagine how someone might arrive on Ebon out of the blue. Certainly this guy has had an ordeal, and has been at sea for some time."

Armbruster, who speaks Spanish, said the survivor told the following story:

He's a native of El Salvador but has lived in Mexico for 15 years and fishes for a man he knows as Willie, catching sharks for $1.90 per pound.

On Dec. 21, 2012, Alvarenga left Mexico in his 23 foot fiberglass boat for a day's fishing, accompanied by a teen he knew only as Ezekiel, who was between 15 and 18.

A storm blew the fishermen off course, and soon they were lost and adrift.

"He talked about scooping up little fish that swam alongside the boat and eating them raw," Armbruster said. "He also said he ate birds, and drank birds' blood."

After about a month, Ezekiel died, the survivor told officials.

Alvarenga also talked about eating turtles. Once near Ebon, he swam ashore.

Comments on: Man says he ate birds, turtles in 13 months adrift

To report abuse or misuse of this area please hit the "Suggest Removal" link in the comment to alert our online managers. Read our Terms of Use policy.

Subscribe Register Login

You must login to make comments.

TOP JOBS

  • Airport - lifting

    airport: immediate p/t Openings 4:30am- 7:30am Tues-Sat. Sta...
    LITTLE ROCK, AR

  • News editor

    Sync Weekly, an edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Sy...
    Little Rock, AR

  • Lodge cook

    lodge cookfull-timedeGray Lake Resort State Park, BismarckPo...
    LITTLE ROCK, AR

  • Member service rep

    member service representative Fayetteville UARK Federal Cr...
    FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas

  • Powder coaters

    Ready? Set? GO! We take industrial staffing seriously. Mater...
    Little Rock, AR

Search 900 jobs >

Top Picks - Arkansas Daily Deal
Arkansas Online