THIRTEEN MONTHS AT OPEN SEA
The story of Jose Salvador Alvarenga
by Kyt Lyn Walken
This story is connected to that of our local Ambrogio Fogar (of whom we talked about in this article https://www.completefood.it/en/impossible-becomes-reality-ambrogio-fogar/) with an intense and vivid fil rouge.
There is the sea, and there are castaways.
However, there is no mainland, but only an immense, implacable expanse, not made for man. Against which we must fight and, if necessary, win.
November 17, 2012. Alvarenga, a 36-year-old professional fisherman from El Salvador, organizes a fishing trip off the Mexican coast in the companies of the young Ezequiel Cordoba, with whom he has never worked together. The two intend to stay offshore for only two days: their target are sharks, tuna and Mahi Mahi (Corifena Cavallina).
A storm surprises them, running out of supplies at sea and irreparably damaging the communication systems, according to what Alvarenga later reported. The Salvadoran also tells of the panic that had pervaded the young Cordoba, who, almost no longer able to understand, had tried to jump into the water in a delirium.
The sailor Alvarenga helps the young man to calm down and the two manage to survive several months on what remains of the boat, feeding on fish, birds and drinking turtle blood. In the absence, even your own urine.
According to Alvarenga, the cause of Cordoba’s death, which occurred shortly after, should be amputated for his refusal to eat raw meat again: a refusal which would have led to a very rapid deterioration due to starvation. The Salvadoran, having promised his dying companion not to eat his flesh, would have watched over the body for about a week before throwing the body into the sea.
The boat finally reached Ebon beach on January 30, 2014. On the beach of the small atoll, located in Micronesia, it is rescued by a local couple.
His health is unusually good.
The story of Alvarenga was the subject of a thunderous media case, made up of complaints (by the poor family of the young Cordoba, who accused the survivor of cannibalism), of fame, amazement and disbelief.
How did it really go? Probably, no one will ever know.
The survivor recounted it in a book: 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea. Which, by the way, didn’t even sell as much as hoped.
What do you think? Difficult stories have intricate and often blurred outlines in the memory of the survivors.
At Bivo we put honesty above everything, from the preparation of our products to the description of the contribution in nutritional terms.
We are sure you do the same!
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