(UPDATED) Jose Ivan, shipwrecked man survives 16 months adrift at sea.
An emaciated man was discovered on Thursday when his boat washed up on a remote Pacific atoll, having floated over 12,500 kilometers (8,000 miles) from Mexico since September of 2012, according to reports.
The Shipwrecked man was found when his 24-foot fibreglass boat with propellerless engines floated onto the reef at Ebon Atoll in the Marshall Islands, and he was seen by two locals.
Ola Fjeldstad, a Norwegian anthropology student doing research on Ebon, told AFP by telephone “His condition isn’t good, but he’s getting better”.
Ms Fjeldstad said the man speaks only Spanish, so details of his survival are sketchy, but he said his name is Jose Ivan, according to reports.
Mr Ivan has a long beard and hair, and was found dressed only in ragged underpants.Shipwrecked man, Mr Ivan indicated to Ms Fjeldstad that he survived 16 months at sea by eating turtles, birds and fish, and drinking turtle blood when there was no rain.
He says he set off from Mexico to El Salvador in September 2012 with a companion, who died at sea several months ago.
“The boat is really scratched up and looks like it has been in the water for a long time,” said Ms Fjeldstad.
There was no fishing gear on the boat, and Mr Ivan indicated he caught turtles and birds with his bare hands. There was a turtle on the boat when it was found at Ebon.
The Marshall Islanders who discovered Ivan took him to the atoll’s main island to meet Mayor Ione de Brum, who called the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Majuro, according to Ms Fjeldstad.
Foreign Ministry officials on Friday said they were waiting to get more details and for Mr Ivan to be brought to Majuro. However, the government airline’s only plane that can land at Ebon is down for maintenance and is not expected to return to service until Tuesday at the earliest, so officials are considering sending a boat to pick up Mr Ivan.
Shipwrecked man “He’s staying at the local council house and a family is feeding him,” Ms Fjeldstad said, adding that Mr Ivan had a basic health check which showed he had low blood pressure. But he did not appear to have any illness that was life-threatening, and was able to walk with the help of men on the island.
“We’ve been giving him a lot of water, and he’s gaining strength,” said Ms Fjeldstad.
The recent reported Shipwrecked man was Louis Jordan rescued by the Coast Guard from atop his ruined boat. He had been missing for 66 days, during which his family had feared him drowned. Shipwrecked man says he survived 66 days at sea with a lot of prayers.