Castaway crosses Pacific Ocean again on way to homeland

Feb 10, 2014 1:52 PM


Castaway Jose Salvador Alvarenga crossed the Pacific Ocean again Monday, this time in a plane instead of a fishing boat.

The 37-year-old who washed up on a remote atoll, saying he had spent more than a year at sea, flew from the Marshall Islands to Hawaii for the first leg of his voyage to his homeland of El Salvador.

Alvarenga left El Salvador some 15 years ago to work as a fisherman in Mexico. He says he and a fishing mate got caught in storm in November 2012 and were swept out to sea.

The other man, Ezequiel Cordoba, 24, died on the 24-foot boat, but Alvarenga said he survived on raw fish and other sea creatures he caught by hand, drinking his own urine when he ran out of rainwater.

His boat drifted to Ebon Atoll in the Marshall Islands on Jan. 30, where authorities tried to stabilize his health and investigate his wild tale of survival at sea.

Fellow fisherman in Mexico say they remember when Alvarenga and Cordoba left, and Cordoba's family has also backed up the timeline.

NBC News' Randy Brandt contributed to this report.


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