Last week, Mexican fisherman Jose Ivan stirred up the internet on all sides of the oceans. And there was a reason. In December 2012, he went out with a fellow shark fisherman, and it was only in February 2014 that he managed to set foot again when his boat was nailed to one of the atolls. of the Marshall Islands.
How did he survive? What did he eat? Did he eat a comrade? Did he go crazy? You're all lying!
These must be the main questions and complaints the readers of this news were asking.
We've gathered the main facts of this fantastic story to draw a line under it.
As it turned out, the full name Jose Ivana (so he originally introduced himself to his saviors) was Jose Salvador Albarengo. He is 37 years old and comes from El Salvador, but for the last 15 years he has lived in Mexico where he has been fishing shrimp and sharks for the Camoronera Dela Costa company. His chief's name was Willie, and he paid him 25 pesos per kilo of fish he caught.
José went out to sea in December 2012 with an assistant, a boy named Esecchiel. They were unlucky: they lost their engine, drifted a couple of days near the coast, and then their 23-foot boat was carried deep into the ocean. Soon, Szekiel died, unable to eat raw bird meat. The fisherman threw the body of the satellite overboard, and after a few days he thought he would kill himself. But, eventually, he left his thoughts of suicide behind and decided to fight for his life. In Mexico, he still had a wife and daughter, as he then admits, it was the thought of family that prevented him from giving up:
«I thought about them all the time. Thought they thought I was dead. I wanted to go home and prove that I wasn't. I'm grateful to God that I'm here».
He survived by feeding on turtles, birds and fish. One day he caught a small shark, putting his hand in the water as bait... He drank rainwater. When it wasn't raining, he drank his own urine, turtle and bird blood. Later he will tell a Telegraph reporter that he lost count of days rather soon and never saw the earth for the whole «trip»:
«A clean ocean, a clean ocean. Very calm - only two days with big waves».
The boat had been hanging in the sea for over a year until, after having wound at least 5,500 miles, it hit the shore of Ebon atoll. Jose had just caught a bird for lunch, as the trees noticed. Having docked on the ground, he passed out and slept for an unknown number of hours until it was discovered by local women, including Norwegian anthropologist student Ola Fielstad, who lives on the atoll.
Later, she told me that the ship was a sad sight. It was overgrown with shells and other sea creatures, and inside there were empty shells of turtles, a dead turtle, fish remains and one chick that was still alive.
She described the found man in the following way: «He was bad in all senses, both physically and mentally».
José Albarengo was awakened by a woman screaming - his clothes were torn underwear - then for the first time in months he saw people.
This incredible story was perceived by many as a duck, ragged by the media. Newspapers illustrated it with shots of the film «Outcast» with Tom Hanks - in the early days of photographs of the hero-hermit simply did not exist. No one gave clear details, although all major newspapers wrote about it, perhaps. The reasons for this are the most banal - the fisherman did not know English, and on the islands, no one spoke Spanish. Communication in the middle of the Pacific is also a problem. With the locals, the wanderer communicated in gestures and painted pictures, trying to explain what happened to him.
Because of Jose Albarengo's knee pain, he can't move around without help, but overall, his condition seems satisfactory. Due to prolonged exposure to sun and salt, he suffers from swelling. A few days after his first photos were taken in Magiuro, he will feel worse and his initial reactivity will be lost.
This is not the first time the Marshall Islands «has been nailed by Mexicans» lost in the ocean. A similar case occurred in 2006, when three fishermen managed to survive after 9 months on the high seas.
How many such stories are left without a happy ending - God knows him.