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Castaway survives 13 months at sea

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Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Monday, February 3, 2014, 1:41 -

It doesn't seem possible, but the man in the pictures above, El Salvadorian national Jose Alvarengo, washed up on the Pacific shores of the Marshall Islands, 13 months after setting out in a fibreglass boat in Mexico.

Alvarengo, whom reports say was in bad shape, apparently survived by catching and eating birds, fish and sea turtles, and relying mostly on rain for drinking water.

He claims to have set out with a teenage companion, who died during the voyage. 

They originally planned a one-day shark hunting jaunt, but northerly winds blew them off course into a storm, which damaged the boat and resulted in the loss of one of its engines.


RELATED: Read about eight weird sharks found at sea.


Alvarengo told rescuers in the Marshall Islands he wanted to be returned to Mexico, where he has lived for 15 years.

Officials are trying to verify his story. If Alvarengo is telling the truth, his unexpected odyssey took him across 8,000 km of the Pacific Ocean.

Image: Google Maps

Image: Google Maps

As unbelievable as it sounds, the same thing happened to a trio of Mexican fishermen, who made the journey in nine months back in 2006. That group survived off fish and rain water.

With files from CNN.

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