How long is the survival limit of a person trapped at sea? Most people may only be silent, but the world is so big that there is nothing strange about it. Below is the true story of a survivor who was trapped at sea for 438 days.
Adventure out in the storm
Alvarenga, 37, is a Salvadoran fisherman living in Mexico. At 10 am on November 18, 2012, Alvarenga decided to go fishing. His assistant is a 22-year-old newcomer named Sia Cordova. The ship was loaded with equipment, including a 5-foot (1-foot-0.305-meter) long and 4-foot-high freezer.
Before that, Alvarenga had been warned that a storm was coming, but he had to make enough money in one day to sustain his life for a week.
When he sailed by waves to 75 miles (1 mile or 16 kilometers) from land, Alvarenga took out his two-mile fishing line and started fishing. However, at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, the waves began to beat the boat violently, and the hull was swayed to one side. “Quickly get out of here!” Cordoba shouted at Alvarenga.
However, it was too late, the wind and waves became stronger and the boat entered the water. In this case, Alvarenga made a risky decision: He cut the rope and dumped thousands of dollars worth of equipment and fish into the sea. Immediately afterwards, he turned around and steered the ship to a port that was 6 hours away by sea. After that, Alvarenga called his boss Willie.
As dawn approached the next day, Alvarenga saw the mountains exposed above the sea level. But when he finally found a way to get to the shore quickly, the engine broke. The huge wave hit, and the two men were hit on the other side severely. “Willie, Willie!” Alvarenga yelled at the intercom, but the intercom was broken. The roar of the sea breeze blows them farther away.
Fishing for turtles to survive hard
It was five days after the sea breeze subsided completely. At this time, Alvarenga and Cordoba were already 280 miles offshore. They can only be rescued by being discovered by other ships, but this is difficult because most of the hull is submerged under the water.
The scorching sun during the day made them feel that they would be roasted at any time, and on a cold night, they would climb into the freezer and hug each other to keep warm.
Four days later, they finally ushered in a heavy rain. The two men took off their clothes and took a shower in the heavy rain. They jumped and laughed, throwing their clothes into the air. After the heavy rain stopped, they collected 5 gallons of fresh water in plastic bottles floating on the sea-which would maintain their drinking water supply for a week.
It has been 11 days since they lost the generator and kept alive by catching thin triggerfish with bare hands. One night, Alvarenga heard a strange sound, it was a turtle. He couldn’t wait to catch it on the boat-as their food, and drinking its blood to quench thirst. Alvarenga thought about how to catch sea turtles all day. Córdoba was sick of the solidified turtle blood and the pitiful turtle meat. In order to make the turtle meat relatively “delicious”, Alvarenga tried to cut the turtle meat into thin slices, put them in the sea water to adjust the taste, and finally put them on the shell of the outboard motor for roasting.
Although they were two strangers who had never known each other when they set out, they have now established a deep friendship. Like two teenagers who are out on adventures, they will lie on the boat at night, scribbling the stars with their hands.
One night, they expected it to be Christmas Eve. The two men were talking happily in preparation for the festive feast. At that time, Alvarenga captured seabirds perched on their boat as a supplement to their dishes. Suddenly, Cordoba moaned in pain: “My stomach!” White foam and liquid flowed out from the corners of his mouth. Alvarenga sliced open the seabird that Cordoba had eaten, and found a viper in its stomach.
Companion poisoned to death
In the next two months, Cordoba gradually became haggard. One day, he called Alvarenga’s nickname, said goodbye, and walked to the fence to jump into the water surrounded by sharks. Alvarenga rushed to Córdoba, threw him into the freezer, and closed the door. Cordova slapped fiercely inside, “Don’t think of suicide!” Alvarenga shouted.
Despair surrounds Cordoba. A few days later, Cordoba said: “I’m going to die.” Alvarenga fed fresh water into Cordoba’s mouth, but he did not swallow it. He is still dead. The next morning, Alvarenga climbed out of the freezer and stared at Cordoba sitting on the bench—he looked like a person basking in the sun. “How are you feeling?” Alvarenga asked the corpse in front of him. “Are you sleeping well?”
”I slept well. Have you had breakfast?” Alvarenga said, just like Cordoba Still alive.
”Yes, I have eaten.”
”Me too. I ate in heaven.” On
the 6th day after Cordoba’s death, Alvarenga sent his friend into the sea. Since then, Alvarenga has become a person, a small dust floating on the vast Pacific Ocean.
Discovering the island in despair
After Cordoba was gone, Alvarenga tried to keep himself full. For this he designed a shark detector that allows him to swim a short swim in the sea. He threw 6 bird feet into the water first, and if no sharks appeared, he would go into the water to wake himself up.
Can’t remember how many days passed, a container ship appeared on the sea and sailed straight to Alvarenga. “Help! Here! Here!” He was standing at the stern and the three men with fishing rods in their hands yelled. They waved at him and he was found. However, they did not move, and no one came to help. Not only did the big ship not slow down, but the surrounding waves pushed them farther.
This within reach of the miss almost destroyed Alvarenga. His brain became weak and his reaction slowed a lot. In 11 months, Alvarenga drifted nearly 5,000 miles at a speed of less than one mile per hour. On January 30, 2014, a curtain of cold rain restricted the visibility of the surroundings. Alvarenga stood on the deck looking out as best as he could, and suddenly a small island gradually emerged in the rain and fog.
Alvarenga was discovered by a couple who had lived here for a long time. It is located in the southernmost Ebun Atoll of the Marshall Islands and one of the most remote places on earth. If Alvarenga missed Ebun Atoll, his next stop would be the Philippines 3,000 miles away. Eleven days later, after Alvarenga’s health indicators were stable, he returned to El Salvador. Alvarenga completed one of the most incredible journeys in maritime history. He has no nautical equipment, sails, routes or even oars, just drifting. He is so unfortunate and so lucky at the same time.