More Updates On The Castaway’s Tale

   02.06.14

More Updates On The Castaway’s Tale

This week we reported on a shipwrecked man who made it to land after 16 months adrift (correction to 13 months now). The story sounded a little rushed and premature, given the fact that there were no pictures or details on the castaway’s story or journey. Today, CNN’s home page story dives deeper into the story to see if the facts really check out.

Jose Salvador Alvarenga is the castaway. He is a Salvadoran national who had been living in southern Mexico and working as a fisherman. There is a lot of mystery around the castaway’s claims and CNN reports on some top issues.

How long was he supposedly at sea?

Local fishermen in the area of Mexico from which he set off say he may have been gone for a month longer than that, which more or less matches a document from a local civil protection agency that reports he disappeared in November 2012.

How far did he travel?

Given the average currents between Mexico and the Marshall Islands, it would have taken less than a year to travel from the origin to the end in the strongest average currents. If the trip did indeed take about 13 months, a meandering journey in and out of the currents was most likely.

Is this even possible?

Such an amazing journey isn’t unheard of, as three Mexican fishermen made a similar drift voyage in 2006 that lasted nine months. Those men lived off fish they caught and rainwater, and they read the Bible for comfort.

Shouldn’t he be in worse physical shape?

Skeptics point to the meat on Alvarenga’s bones as suspicious. If he was stranded for 13 months, wouldn’t he be in much worse physical shape? Doctors said Alvarenga’s limbs have started to swell, and they can’t seem to keep him hydrated.

 

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