'I spent 16 months adrift'Save
An emaciated man survived 16 months adrift at sea, eating turtles, birds and fish and drinking turtle blood, having floated up to 12,870km from Mexico to a remote Pacific atoll, it was claimed yesterday.
A Norwegian researcher said the man - who only speaks Spanish and has a long beard - was not in a good condition after his 7.3m fibreglass boat washed up on the reef at Ebon Atoll.
If confirmed, the feat would be an unbelievable tale of survival, reminiscent of the Tom Hanks film Cast Away.
The man, who was dressed only in ragged underpants when he came ashore, apparently set off from Mexico heading for El Salvador in September 2012. He was travelling with a companion, who apparently died at sea several months ago.
"His condition isn't good, but he's getting better," Ola Fjeldstad, a Norwegian anthropology student doing research on Ebon, told AFP by telephone.
Ebon, which has a population of around 1000, is an atoll of 22 small islands that makes up part of the Marshall Islands.
Details of his survival were not clear, Fjeldstad said, but he said his name was Jose Ivan.
The man had low blood pressure and was incredibly thin, but was able to walk and had no life-threatening condition.
"The boat is really scratched up and looks like it has been in the water for a long time."
Ivan indicated that he survived by eating turtles, birds and fish and drinking turtle blood when there was no rain. No fishing equipment was on the boat and Ivan suggested he caught turtles and birds with his bare hands.