7 Feb 2014

Health concerns delays departure of Alvarenga from Marshall Islands

8:04 am on 7 February 2014

Health concerns for the man who survived a 13-month drift from Mexico to the Marshall Islands has led to his departure from the Marshalls being delayed.

The deputy chief of mission at the Mexican Embassy in Manila, told a press conference in Majuro, that Jose Salvador Alvarenga is suffering from dehydration and other issues and doctors have said he should not fly yet.

Christian Clay Mendoza says Mr Alvarenga, who was due to leave today, may now have to wait until next week to depart.

Mr Mendoza says his Embassy is involved because it was first reported that Mr Alvarenga was a Mexican national.

But he says it turned out he left from a port in Mexico, but is actually a citizen of El Salvador.

"The government of El Salvador have requested that he be returned to his family and I have told him that once he returns to his family, and he is feeling better and everything, and if he goes through the proper channels, I am sure our embassy people in El Salvador will be more than willing to assist him in getting him to Mexico legally."

Christian Clay Mendoza says he is working with the US Embassy on the necessary paperwork to get Mr Alvarenga through the US and back home to El Salvador.