Shipwrecked Man lost in Pacific reaches shores 16 months later
Shipwrecked Man lost in Pacific reaches shores 16 months later

Shipwrecked Man lost in Pacific reaches shores 16 months later

An emaciated man, who claims he left Mexico in September 2012, this week washed up on Pacific island Ebon Atoll, having spent 16 months adrift on the ocean.

The man, dressed in ragged underpants and with a long beard and hair, was not in a good condition when spotted by two islanders after his boat washed up on the reef this week.

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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