Man washes up in Marshall Islands ‘after 16 months adrift’
(AFP) Majuro (Marshall Islands) — An emaciated man whose boat washed up on a remote Pacific atoll this week claims he survived 16 months adrift on the Pacific, floating more than 12,500 kilometres (8,000 miles) from Mexico, a researcher said Friday.
The man, with long hair and beard, was discovered Thursday when his 24-foot fibreglass boat with propellerless engines floated onto the reef at Ebon Atoll and he was spotted by two locals.
“His condition isn’t good, but he’s getting better,” Ola Fjeldstad, a Norwegian anthropology student doing research on Ebon, the southern most outpost of the Marshalls, told AFP by telephone.
Fjeldstad said the man, dressed only in a pair of ragged underpants, claims he left Mexico for El Salvador in September 2012 with a companion who died at sea several months ago.
Ivan indicated to Fjeldstad that he survived by eating turtles, birds and fish and drinking turtle blood when there was no rain.
No fishing gear was on the boat and Ivan suggested he caught turtles and birds with his bare hands. There was a turtle on the boat when it landed at Ebon.