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A fisherman spent 440 days in a small boat amid the open sea and survived 8/24/2015 •

A fisherman spent 440 days in a small boat amid the open sea and survived

On the 17th of November, 2012, Jose Alvarenga made for the open sea. He just wanted to catch some sharks and come back in a couple of days, but his fishing trip took about 14 months. These were 440 days of despair without food, fresh water and people.


Popular movies tell us stories about lucky people who spend many days lost in the ocean and manage to survive. We watch such thrilling movies with great interest but do not believe that it's really possible. And still it is!

On Thursday afternoon, January 30, 2014, a married couple who lived on one of the Marshall Islands heard a blood-curdling scream. They rushed to the beach and saw a skinny hairy man in ragged underwear. The man was so exhausted that he wasn't able to utter a word. He lay on the ground and kept repeating a name that was apparently his own: "Jose, Jose".

Sometime later, after the fisherman got better, he told a shocking story of his survival. It appeared that Jose, a native of EL Salvador, together with his friend Esekiel made out for the sea from a small village in South Mexico, but already in the first evening they got in a heavy storm and lost their way home.

Esekiel wasn't so fortunate as his friend and died from thirst and hunger after a month of sufferings. Since that moment the merciless sun and horizonless ocean had been the only Jose's companions.

In order to survive the man caught sea birds and tortoises; he drank rainwater, tortoises' blood and even his own urine.

One day he saw a big ship, but the crew didn't notice him and the fisherman's despair became almost irresistible. He even wanted to kill himself but had no courage. So, when the sea cast him ashore after 14 months, he was the happiest man in the world!

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