A man who claims he was lost at sea, a castaway in torn and tattered underwear washed ashore in the Marshal Islands. The castaway said that he had been drifting lost at sea for more than a year in a 24-foot fiberglass boat. Over the weekend he finally made his way to civilization as the villagers who found him off the shore of their remote island took him to the city of Majuro, the capitol of the Marshall Islands, according to AFP via Yahoo on Feb. 3.
He was taken from the remote island for the 22 hour trip to Majuro by police boat and a male nurse had to help the weak man, who identified himself as Jose Ivan, down the ramp and onto the dock. He made his way down the dock ramp looking happy and waving to cameras with a coke in this hand. Ivan greeted the crowd of more than 100 who gathered to see the man who drifted at sea for more than a year. He was then whisked off to a hospital for a medical evaluation.
Ivan met with U.S. Ambassador Thomas Armbruster over the weekend who translated for officials in the Marshall Islands as Ivan gave his account of becoming a castaway. One of the first things that the ambassador observed was the condition that Ivan was in, which was better than one would expect after spending 16 months drifting at sea.
Ivan said he ate birds, fish and turtles and when rain water was not available he drank turtle blood to keep hydrated.The castaway told the ambassador that he is a shark and shrimp fisherman. He set out back on Dec. 24, 2012 to go shark fishing with a teenager named Xiquiel when they were blown off course by strong winds and they became lost.
The teen was somewhere between 15-18-years-old, said the castaway. He only lasted a few weeks into their ordeal because he couldn’t eat raw bird meat. Ivan said he lives in Tapachula, near the Mexican-Guatemala border. He said he worked for a company named Camoronera Dela Costa.
He had travel 8,000 miles in this 24-foot boat and was found by a remote village fisherman when his boat was grounded on a coral reef. The castaway was disoriented and wearing only tattered and torn underwear. He was able to communicate with the people of the village by drawing pictures and making gestures.
The 37-year-old told foreign ministry officials that his full name was Jose Salvador Albarengo. They ministry is trying to contact his relatives in Mexico and the United States. The story that the castaway is telling is a bit hard to believe for some.
Could this man really last 16 months alone at sea with just what nature’s surrounding offers for nourishment. How did this 24-foot boat survive the storms and high waves that made up the weather of the open seas?
This castaway is not the first to last on open water, as in 2006 three Mexican fisherman were found alive after being lost at sea for nine months. They too survived on fish and birds. They were found in a small fiberglass boat near the Marshall Islands.