Castaway Jose Salvador Albarengo arrives back in civilisation after 13 months adrift at sea

Mexican fisherman explains to interpreter how he and a young companion became lost in strong winds on 24 December 2012

A Mexican castaway who says he has been lost at sea for more than 13 months has been pictured for the first time on his arrival back in civilisation.

With a bushy beard and described as “looking better than one would expect”, the man set foot on land in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands, after a 22-hour boat ride from the remote Ebon Atoll coral reef where he was found.

The US ambassador Thomas Armbruster, acting as an interpreter for the Marshall Islands authorities, said the man identified himself as a 37-year-old whose full name is Jose Salvador Albarengo.

“He said he is a shrimp and shark fisherman,” the ambassador told the AFP news agency after speaking with the castaway.

Mr Albarengo reportedly said he was on a shark-fishing expedition for the fishing company Camoronera Dela Costa in Tapachula, Mexico, when strong winds forced his 24-foot fibreglass boat off course.

Around a thousand onlookers turned out to welcome Mr Albarengo on his return to civilisation on Monday Around a thousand onlookers turned out to welcome Mr Albarengo on his return to civilisation on Monday The fisherman said he was accompanied at the time by a 15- to 18-year-old boy named Xiquel, who died just a few weeks after they got lost because he was unable to eat raw bird meat.

Eventually arriving at the southern-most cluster of the Marshall Islands territories 8,000 miles away, Mr Albarengo has previously told reporters he survived by eating turtles, birds and fish and drinking turtle blood and rainwater.

Ola Fjeldstad, a Norwegian anthropology student on Ebon Atoll, told the BBC how she and a group of researchers were the first to meet the castaway when they spotted his boat.

A Mexican castaway steps off a sea patrol vessel in Majuro with the help of a nurse after a 22-hour boat ride from isolated Ebon Atoll on February 3, 2014 A Mexican castaway steps off a sea patrol vessel in Majuro with the help of a nurse after a 22-hour boat ride from isolated Ebon Atoll on February 3, 2014 “And when we got there we first found his boat, which was... grown over with shells and other sea animals. It had a live baby bird, a dead turtle, some turtle shells and fish leftovers inside.

“He was in really bad shape in terms of strength and in terms of mental health.”

Marshall Islands immigration chief Damien Jacklick told AFP: “ With the help of the US ambassador, we were able to obtain information on his family members in El Salvador and the United States,” he told AFP. “We hope this information will help us track down his family.”


Watch: What's the real story behind the Mexican castaway?

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map