SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - A fisherman from El Salvador who says he spent more than a year adrift in the Pacific Ocean arrived home Tuesday night and was barely able to speak, sobbing as dozens of curiosity-seekers craned for a glimpse of the famous castaway.
Jorge Salvador Alvarenga, 36, told officials he washed ashore in the Marshall Islands at the end of January and said he survived the ordeal by drinking turtle blood and catching fish and birds with his bare hands.
"I can't find any words to say," an emotional Alvarenga said on landing at the airport in the capital, San Salvador, where he was reunited with family before being taken to a local hospital in a wheelchair for further tests.
While the exact dates remain unclear, Alvarenga is believed to have set sail on a shark fishing trip from southern Mexico in late December 2012, before being blown out to sea, drifting for months and washing up some 10,000 km (6,200 miles) away in the Marshall Islands.
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National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14
In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.