This is a story of a person (Jose Salvador Alvarenga) who was lost in the vast ocean and managed to survive for 438 days which was his life’s greatest experience.
The Pacific Ocean is the biggest ocean on Earth as it covers 1/3rd of all the ocean. It is also bigger than all land on earth. There are many small islands in the Pacific Ocean that are almost empty and no human exists.
So this person turns out to be an experienced fisherman from Mexico. He and his friend named ‘Ezequiel Kardova’ go out for fishing on November 17. ‘Ezequiel Kardova’ was just 22 and wanted to learn new skills from the experienced fisherman, so he accompanied him.
He and his friend got on to a small boat from a tiny village “Costa Azul” which is in the Mexican pacific coast. As their boat was very small, they planned for 30 hours of fishing in the Pacific Ocean. The boat was very small, only 7 meters in length i.e. (23 feet), and due to which it included all the basic stuff like a small motorized engine and a small refrigerator to store the fish and there were no pedal flaps or other lifesaving equipment’s included.
As the Pacific Ocean is very vast if anyone gets stranded on the small island located between the Ocean the chances of survival are very less. Though he still holds the record accidentally of being in the water for the longest period of time with all the odds.
As they were aware of the storm approaching towards them they didn’t stop for fishing as they require money to support their needs for that week and make some more money for Christmas. So they started the adventure by traveling 120km away from the Mexican coast and the storm started to become more violent and hit them at 1.00 am. Due to which they panicked and there was a huge threat of getting their boat sink and being drowned in the sea.
So the fisherman and his friend started to cut the ropes of the fish they had caught and trying to make their boat much lighter in order to move fast and away from the storm.
The fisherman and his friend were so far from the sea and it was a 6-hour journey back to the coast. So at the night, they started to move fast towards the coast, by 7.00 am they had traveled about 96 km and were only 24km away from the coast. Then a sudden tragic happens, the boat engine dies as the boat wasn’t equipped with the flap pedals, so they started to drift away from the coast back to the sea, due to the storm and strong wind.
Luckily their radio was working while talking to the coast guard (Boss) telling the position of their location but the radio battery died too and there were no means of communication left.
Their boss organized a search patrol boat but couldn’t locate them. It was now 5 days and both, the fisherman and his friend were drifted 450km by the winds surrounded by ocean everywhere, as they were not equipped with any lifesaving equipment for them to send any signals.
Four months had passed by, the fisherman’s friend Ezequiel Kardova was having suicidal thoughts as he was getting sick of the eating ants birds and raw meat. There was also no water to drink so eventually they had to drink their own urine and tortoise blood.
At last, his friend gave up hope and starved to death, thereby leaving Jose Salvador Alvarenga alone in that vast ocean.
Many huge ships passed by his boat but no one responded to his signal. It was now 11 months Jose Salvador Alvarenga had traveled 8000km on his small boat. On January 30th 2014 he spotted coconut floating around his boat and birds flying around, which gave him a hope of survival. A few hours later he then saw a coast and a house on that island, it took almost half a day to reach there.
He then got down from his boat swam across the shore and made the first contact with a human after 438 days since he left the Mexican coast (village). He had traveled 11000 km on a small boat. Later he was rescued and flown back to his village but his friend’s family got him arrested stating he had eaten his friend. So this is how he survived and made his journey complete. Even though he survived, he has lost his friend and will have to live with this bitter memory of losing someone so close.
Here’s a quick explainer video of what exactly happened:
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