Man Survives a Year Lost at Sea
Says he spent 13 months adrift, drank turtle blood
An emaciated Mexican man claiming to have spent more than a year adrift in the Pacific Ocean washed up on a remote atoll near the Marshall Islands on Thursday. Dressed in only a pair of ragged underpants and aboard a 24-foot fiberglass boat, the man gave his name as Jose Ivan or Jose Salvador Albarengo.
Details of his survival are inconsistent, but updated reports from the Independent say Ivan left Mexico for El Salvador with a companion on December 24, 2012, to go shark fishing. The friend reportedly died at sea several months before Ivan’s boat reached Ebon Atoll.
“[Ivan’s] condition isn’t good, but he’s getting better,” Ola Fjeldstad, a Norwegian anthropology student doing research on Ebon, told AFP. “The boat is really scratched up and looks like it has been in the water for a long time.”
To survive the more than 8,000-mile voyage, Ivan reportedly ate turtles, birds, and fish, which he caught with his bare hands. He drank rainwater, but said he drank turtle blood during periods of drought.