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Report: Man survives more than year adrift in Pacific Ocean

Feb. 3, 2014 at 9:29 AM

MAJURO, Marshall Islands, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- A 37-year-old man who turned up in the Marshall Islands after a year adrift in the Pacific Ocean said he survived by eating turtles, small sharks and birds.

Jose Salvador Alvarenga said he set off Dec. 21, 2012, from Mexico to catch shark and shrimp with a 15-year-old fellow fisherman named Ezekiel.

He said the motor on their 24-foot boat stopped working just hours into their first day at sea and for a few days they drifted near land.

The boat eventually drifted out into the ocean where Alvarenga and Ezekiel had to live off turtles, fish, small sharks and birds, Britain's Telegraph reported.

Ezekiel died after four months, the report said.

Alvarenga said he was surprised to learn he had hit land in the Marshall Islands, a country he had never heard of.

"I had just killed a bird to eat and saw some trees," he said. "I cried, 'Oh God.' I got to land and had a mountain of sleep. In the morning I woke up and heard a rooster and saw chickens and saw a small house. I saw two native women screaming and yelling. I didn't have any clothes -- I was only in my underwear and they were ripped and torn."

Alvarenga was taken to a hospital in Majuro where he appeared to be in good health.

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