Life Of Jose? Man Survives 16 Months Adrift In The Pacific Ocean

by
Owen Poindexter
A man who claims he set off from the coast of Mexico 16 months ago, showed up 8,000 miles away on the Marshall Islands.


A man who washed up on the Marshall Islands claims to have essentially lived out the plot of Life of Pi (minus the tiger)

A man who claims he set off from the coast of Mexico 16 months ago, showed up 8,000 miles away on the Marshall Islands, according to the Guardian. In other words, he spent a year and four months drifting in the Pacific, essentially living out Life of Pi (route reversed) without the tiger. The man, who was found on Thursday with long hair and a long beard, said he had been living mostly off fish, birds and turtles. He drank rain. When there was no rain, he drank turtle blood.

His story is that he set off for El Salvador with a friend in their 24 foot fiberglass boat in September 2012. Somehow they got drastically off course. His friend died several months ago.

So far, most of what we know about the survivor, who says his name is Jose Ivan, has come from a Norwegian anthropology student named Ola Fjeldstad, who is studying in Ebon, the atoll of the Marshall Islands where Ivan washed up.

"His condition isn't good but he's getting better," said Fjeldstad. There is a language barrier, as Ivan only speaks Spanish, but he has been able to communicate the basics of his story.

Ivan was taken to the main island on the atoll. Currently the only plane in the area is down for maintenance, so he is staying in a local council house and being fed by a family.

"We've been giving him a lot of water, and he's gaining strength,” Fjeldstad added.

Once Ivan has recovered and is among Spanish speakers, we are sure to get an incredible story. For now, we’ll have to wait and wonder what it’s like to live for 16 months surrounded by nothing but ocean.

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