17 Mar 2014

Castaway who landed on Marshall Islands meets family of dead shipmate

12:31 pm on 17 March 2014

The Salvadoran castaway who says he survived more than a year at sea had a tearful meeting on Saturday with the family of his shipmate who did not make it home.

Jose Alvarenga travelled from his homeland to neighbouring Mexico to speak with the parents and siblings of the late Ezequiel Cordova.

Mr Alvarenga says the man he hired as a helper died four months after their fishing boat broke down and was cut adrift because he could not stomach a diet of urine, turtle blood, raw fish and bird flesh.

Mr Alvarenga washed ashore in the Marshall Islands at the end of January, telling reporters he survived the 12,500-kilometre voyage in a seven-metre fibreglass boat after leaving Mexico's Pacific coast 13 months earlier.

Mr Alvarenga says that he and Cordova made a pact that if one of them survived, they would visit the other one's family to tell the astonishing tale.