Nearly two weeks after Jose Salvador Alvarenga and his small fishing boat beached in the Marshall Islands, his tale of surviving 13 months at sea continues to amaze — and draw skepticism.
On board his battered boat was a live bird, tethered by its foot, and a turtle shell — the diet that the El Salvador fisherman said sustained him as he drifted on the Pacific for more than a year.
Alvarenga said he set off in late 2012 from Mexico on what was supposed to be a one-day fishing trip. But he and a teenage companion were blown off-course by northerly winds and were caught in a storm, eventually losing the use of the engines. They had no radio signal to report their plight, he told reporters. His young companion eventually succumbed to starvation, he said.
Alvarenga's claims have garnered skepticism about how he could survive the more than 6,000-mile voyage. Officials in the Marshall Islands say they have no reason to doubt his story.
After more than a week on Majuro, Alvarenga began his journey home Monday, according to a CNN report , which includes an interview with Jerry Kramer, who spent three days lost at sea in 1969. Kramer says his experience leaves him with doubts about the legitimacy of Alvarenga’s story.