Fourteen months at sea - level 3
The family of Jose Salvador Alvarenge, the fisherman who had been lost at sea for more than a year, have spoken out about their joy of finding out he was alive.
Jose’s brother Carlos says he’s still in shock.
“It was impacting. I was left speechless. I am very happy and very grateful to God and to the people who rescued my brother. I am infinitely grateful to those people. I don’t have enough words or gestures to thank them enough for everything they are doing for him.”
Jose, thought to be from El Salvador, washed ashore on the Marshall Islands after being adrift in the Pacific Ocean for 14 months.
He was found on a remote coral atoll where he had been washed up over the weekend in his small fibreglass boat.
Jose’s sister Yanira said that their mother never lost hope.
“I went to El Salvador last year, and my mother would always say, ‘Daughter, he’s not dead.’ And I would say to her, ‘Mummy, don’t get your hopes up.’ But then she told me, ‘No, I feel he’s alive.’ Now I can see and prove that a mother is never wrong. A mother’s heart is always with her children, and yes, she’s very happy now.”
According to reports, Jose had set sail on a fishing trip from Mexico in December 2012, but was blown out to sea. Jose apparently survived by drinking turtle blood and catching fish and birds with his bare hands.
In a statement, El Salvador’s Foreign Ministry said it was working with Mexican authorities to return Jose to El Salvador.
Difficult words: impacting (shocking), infinitely (endlessly), wash (carry by water), adrift (at sea), atoll (reef or island), get somebody’s hopes up (to think that what they want is going to happen).
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