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Man lost at sea for a year washes ashore in small boat: Emaciated but alive

Man washes ashore after a year adrift at sea.
Man washes ashore after a year adrift at sea.
Wikimedia Commons

A man in tattered underwear, who had a long beard and appeared very emaciated washed ashore on a remote island in the Marshall Islands on Thursday with an unbelievable story. According to Newser on Jan. 31, this man said he was adrift at sea for more than a year in a 24-foot fiberglass boat.

When he came ashore he told his story to locals he said he was with a friend, who had died several months earlier. He lived on turtles, birds and fish that he caught with his hands. When there was no water from rain, he would drink turtle blood for hydration.

He traveled 8,000 miles in his 16 months at sea. Jose Ivan set out from Mexico en route to El Salvador in September of 2012. The man was in very poor condition and his boat looked as if it had been in the water for a very long time, as he claims. A researcher on the island said his boat did fit the condition for his story.

Ivan had no fishing gear on board, but there was a turtle, which he did say he’d catch and eat. The locals took him to the main island where the only phone exists in this remote local. He is staying at a local council house and they are feeding the very hungry man. He will stay there until a boat can fetch him or the Island’s government’s only plane can be fixed to get this man to civilization and then home.

The locals said he is gaining some strength as they give him lots of water and food.