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Jack Niedenthal, a long-time Marshall Islands resident and filmmaker, spoke with Alvarenga on Monday.

As officers moved deep in the middle of the Pacific Ocean through the lagoon on the Marshall Islands, they looked at the specimen placed in front of them. The fact that this man was at sea for a lengthy period was not concealed. His hair has become matted like a bush upwards and he could barely walk. He even refused to make any eye contact and hid his face mostly.

This is the story of a 36-year-old El Salvadoran fisherman, Salvador Alvarenga who had fled the Mexican shore in a tiny boat, 14 months ago. He was now brought to Ebon Atoll, the southernmost extremity of the Marshall Islands and the nearest city to wash offshore. The place he began off from was 6,700 kilometers away. For 438 days, Salvador was nowhere to be seen.


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Alvarenga has fought loneliness and suicidal impulses throughout the Pacific Ocean. However, it was little to make him ready for his presence in a dynamic world of wild creatures and severe loneliness for international fame and object of interest.

Jack Niedenthal, a long-time Marshall Islands resident and filmmaker, spoke with Alvarenga one day. He claimed Alvarenga was at first quite reluctant to discuss his misfortune with the media. He finally opened, though, and he portrayed an absolutely incredible narrative. Alvarenga believes that by consuming the uncooked meat of marine birds and fish he could survive. Niedenthal stated the young compañero Alvarenga, a youngster called Xiguel, could not bear his diet. "He would throw up every time the youth took a fowl to his lips. So he couldn't take it any longer, and after four months, he died, and he had no choice but to toss him overboard " he added.

ALSO READ: escape and survival stories of descendants of holocaust survivors

Alvarenga allegedly drank turtle blood and even his own pee to keep alive, according to Niedenthal. "The water, he added, was the most important factor. When there was no water available, he drank his pee a little at a time to keep himself hydrated. Then he claimed it was going to rain, and the boat would fill up with rainwater, which he'd drink "He went on to explain.

Life on land has not been easy for Alvarenga, who has been in shock for months. He'd developed a strong dislike to water, not only the ocean but simply the sight of it. He wanted continuous company and slept with the lights on. He was on the verge of losing his mind for 438 days. "I went through hunger, dehydration, and severe loneliness but did not commit suicide," Alvarenga adds. "You only get one life, so make the most of it."

(This article is a rehash from Voice Of America)


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