Man Alive After 13 Months Stranded at Sea

A man who was stuck adrift for over a year has been found alive.

The BBC is reporting that a castaway who says he spent more than a year adrift in the Pacific, has asked to be taken home, after washing ashore in the Marshall Islands.

13 months ago, Jose Salvador Albarengo and a teenaged companion left Mexico for a one day fishing trip in a fiberglass boat.

He was found on Thursday by people living on the island of Ebon Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The castaway told the local deputy US ambassador Norman Barth, who was acting as an interpreter for Marshall Islands authorities, that he was originally from El Salvador, but had been living in Mexico for 15 years before his epic voyage.

Albarengo’s friend supposedly died only 4 weeks into the voyage, while Albarengo apparently survived the 5,000-mile ordeal by catching fish, birds and turtles with his bare hands.

No details have yet emerged about how the 24ft boat ran into trouble or how his companion died, but this isn’t the first time a castaway has ended upon the Marshall Islands.

Three Mexican fishermen were rescued from the islands in August 2006 after they said they spent about nine months drifting across the Pacific Ocean. They survived on rain water, seabirds and fish.

Castaways from Kiribati, to the south, also frequently find land in the Marshall islands after ending up at sea in small boats for weeks or months.

avatar

About Eric Wotila

Eric Wotila has been working in television in northern Michigan since 2002, working at numerous local stations over the years. Since 2011, he's worked as an anchor, photojournalist and reporter at MI News 26.
“Like” our page to keep up with the latest local news, access exclusive content, participate in contests and much more!