Castaway lost at sea for 16 months says: 'I just want to go home'
The Mexican man can't remember what happened
A Mexican man who was found washed up on a Pacific atoll after spending more than a year at sea has said he just wants to go home.
The emaciated man, who said his name is Jose Ivan, was rescued on Thursday when his 24-foot fibreglass boat with propellerless engines washed up on to the reef at Ebon Atoll, after floating more than 12,500 kilometres (8,000 miles) from Mexico.
The castaway managed to communicate his desperate desire to return to his home country, AFP reported. “I just want to get back to Mexico,” he told interpreter Magui Vaca as he was boarding a Marshall Islands patrol vessel, which transported him to the capital Majuro for a medical examination.
"I feel bad," he said. "I am so far away. I don't know where I am or what happened."
Ivan, who was clad only in a pair of ragged underpants when he was found, told Vaca he left his home in Mexico to go shark fishing on 24 December, 2012, meaning he spent 13 months, at sea, rather than the 16 months his rescuers initially believed.
"It's been difficult trying to communicate with him," said Ebon Mayor Ione deBrum.
"I've gotten to know him through pictures he's drawing. He said he was on his way to El Salvador by boat when it started drifting."
The remaining details remain sketchy, particularly regarding the fate of a companion, whom Ivan said died several months ago.
Vaca said Ivan was disorientated and did not know what had happened during his long stint at sea.
"He feels a little desperate and he wants to get back to Mexico, but he doesn't know how," she said.
Ivan appears to have survived by eating turtles, birds and fish and by drinking turtle blood when there was no rain.
He caught the animals with his bare hands as there was no fishing gear on board the boat. There was a turtle on the boat when it landed at Ebon.
"We've been feeding him nutritious island food and he's getting better," deBrum said. "He has pain in both knees so he cannot stand up by himself. Otherwise, he's OK."
Ivan is expected to arrive in Majuro late Monday morning.
His talk with Vaca, which took place via radio, is believed to be the first time in many months that the Mexican has had a conversation that he was able to understand.
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
- 4 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
350 skinny dippers brave Northumberland seas for record attempt at mass naked swim
Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Jennifer Lawrence leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by forum users
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
£60 - £75 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Administrative Assitant Hertford...
£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reigate...
£120 - £165 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...
£120 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...