Salvador Alvarenga – Man who spent 2 years in the ocean

Salvador Alvarenga a Mexican fisherman used to catch fish and sell them for his survival. After leaving his house on November 2012, he was found in Marshal Island on January 2014. 

He was enjoying a happy life until 2012 but unfortunately a mishap changed everything. He spent two years in miseries and suffering.

Salvador Alvarenga before and after

As we all know that the Pacific Ocean is the biggest and the deepest in the world and covers the area of all landmasses combined altogether. Once a person gets lost in the Pacific ocean, it is difficult to find him and there are least chances of his survival. Today we are going to talk about a man who Survived 438 days in the vast Pacific Ocean without any food or aid. How did this all happen?

Salvador Alvarenga planned a sea trip with his friend

Salvador Alvarenga left his home with his friend Codaba on 17th November to catch fish. He boarded on a small boat from the town of Costa Azul.

Costa Azul

The two friends planned to return from fishing within 30 hours. The boat was only 7m in length without any roof. It contained a small motor and some food to eat that was stored in a small fridge. The two friends were quite aware of the storm but they planned to catch some fish from the nearby shores and return to their home.

Also read: The story of Mehran Karimi Nasiri who spent 18 years stuck at the airport.

They managed to move further because the Mexican fishermen could collect enough fish to spend their whole week peacefully. Now, this is the time when their bad luck started.  The fishermen crossed the sea up to 120 km when they got hit by the storm. The fishermen planned to return to their home defending the storm but to their bad luck the storm dragged their ship and their boat motor stopped working.

Lost in the vast ocean

They could easily see the Mexican mountains and informed their boss about their location but the radio battery got dead and they dropped their contact. Now they were at the center of the ocean with zero contact to the outer world. Their boss sent a rescue team to rescue the two fishermen but they returned disappointed after continuous searching for five days.

Salvador Alvarenga

As in that moment if they tried to jump in the river they would easily die without any life jacket. Their ship was also so small that it could hardly be noticed by any big cruise. They neither had any flare gun nor any signboard for giving signals. At this moment anyone can lose hope or kill themselves but the two friends bravely faced the situation.

Cardoba died of hunger and starvation

Not having any food to eat the two fishermen filled their appetite on raw fish crabs, sharks, urine, and blood of animals and rainwater which is indeed a frustrating moment for every being . After spending 4 harsh months, Cardoba was fed up of this situation. He stopped eating raw food and died of hunger and dehydration. Now Salvador was left alone in the vast ocean surrounded by water.

Salvador Alvarenga

He was at the center of the ocean where big ships pass once in a year. During the time a ship passed by Salvador’s boat but somehow they left him unnoticed. After 11 months Salvador had crossed more than 8000 kilometers. His clothes went and his beard also grew too long.

Salvador Alvarenga rescued

On 30th January 2014, Salvador found a coconut near his boat. He looked above and saw some birds landing near him. Salvador realized he was near some Island where he could be rescued. He landed on the island which was inhabited by some people. The people received him and gave him some food to eat. He spent 438 days in the vast ocean and passed nearly 11000 kilometers. He was rescued and sent to his home.

salvador Alvarenga rescued and sent home
Salvadorean shipwreck survivor Jose Salvador Alvarenga (C) arrives at the international airport in San Salvador, El Salvador, 11 February 2014. Alvarenga, 37, who said that he has survived over a year adrift on the Pacific ocean, comes back to his country after being rescued in the Marshall islands. EPA/Roberto Escobar

Salvador Alvarenga wrote a book about his tragic life. He became a hero and made a new world record that could never be beaten by anyone. On the other side, Cordoba’s family blamed him for killing his friend, Cordoba. He was accused of killing and eating his friend for food. He paid a fine of $1 million to his friend’s family.

This story became famous throughout the world and also gives us a message that nothing is impossible in this world.


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