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Man 'lost in Pacific Ocean for 13 months' reveals survival story

Barbara Dreaver

By Barbara Dreaver ONE News Pacific Correspondent

Published: 6:32PM Monday February 03, 2014 Source: ONE News

  • Jose Salvador Albarengo steps into an ambulance (Source: ONE News)
    Jose Salvador Albarengo steps into an ambulance - Source: ONE News

A man who claims to have been adrift in the Pacific Ocean for 13 months has arrived in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands.

Originally thought to be from Mexico, Jose Salvador Albarengo has today told authorities he is in fact a fisherman from El Salvador.

He was found late last week on Ebon Atoll where his 24 foot fibreglass boat had washed up.

The 37-year-old says he and another man had left Mexico on a fishing expedition when they got caught up in strong currents.

A month into the ordeal he says his fellow fisherman, thought to be a teenager, died.

Locals who found Mr Albarengo said he was emaciated and unable to walk without help.

Unable to speak English he told them using drawings and gestures that he had survived by eating turtles, birds and fish that he caught with his hands.

However, today after a police boat brought him back to the Marshall Islands capital he was able to walk for part of the way unaided to a waiting ambulance.

Editor of the Marshall Islands Journal Giff Johnson told ONE News that Jose Ivan looked "reasonably good" although his "legs and feet look a bit puffy". He was dressed in a long sleeved top and had long hair and a beard.

Mr Johnson said he didn't look skinny but apparently locals on Eban have been feeding him up over the past few days.

He said it's obvious that Mr Albarengo has been at sea for some time but how long needs to be verified.

The castaway has been taken to the capital's hospital for assessment.