Monday, 3 February 2014

Miracle man who spent 14 months adrift in the Pacific

Meet 'Miracle Man of the Pacific' Jose Salvador Albaniaga- the fisherman who survived on turtle blood, raw fish and seagull flesh for more than a year as he drifted helplessly across the world's largest ocean.
Jose had drifted in his 24ft boat for 14 months across 8,000 miles of treacherous seas, finally dragging himself ashore, his skin scorched by the unforgiving sun, his shorts in tatters decayed by the sea salt
Jose and his teenage fellow shark fisherman endured the most soul-destroying of conditions after their boat was left at the sole mercy of the currents when their engine broke down on December 21, 2012.Despite their attempts to attract other vessels, they continued to drift further out to sea. He watched his teenage fishing companion, aged between 15 and 18, slowly die under the relentless sun.Jose continued his own struggle for survival that was to endure for week after week, month after tortuous month, as he was forced to drink his own urine and pick ravenously at the raw flesh of seagulls.
'I survived because I prayed. I prayed all the time.'And while he believed that his faith had helped carry him through the 14 months he was adrift, it was also his determination to stay alive - grabbing turtles to drink their blood when there was no rain water, swallowing down his own urine, snatching seagulls to eat their flesh and hooking fish and eating them raw - that ensured his tenuous hold on life.'I thank God that I am here,' after his 24ft boat had drifted helplessly across 8,000 miles of treacherous seas, remarkably staying upright in storms, sitting idly in calm conditions, as the sole survivor thought about his family on a far-away continent.
A team of doctors were on hand to help Jose leave the naval vessel and transport him to a hospital. His blood pressure is a little low, but otherwise seemed to be in exceptional health considering what he'd endured'I'm alive, it is so good,' he said from his hospital bed after being brought to the Marshall Islands capital, Majuro.'I thank God and I thank the birds I caught to eat. I caught fish and at times I drank my own urine to have liquid.'Of his ill-fated companion, all he would say is 'I'm sad for him'.Jose said he desperately wanted to phone his family - his wife and his 10-year-old daughter - in El Salvador but he cannot remember the name of the village or a phone number. 'I have forgotten many things,' he told said. He has even forgotten exactly how old he is. He 'believes' he is about 36 to 38, even though his ordeal has made him appear much older.'He is here, with us, but he isn't here with us,' an interpreter who has spoken to Jose told MailOnline. 'He is still disorientated, there is no doubt about that.'Jose said: 'It has been a long time, but I feel safe now. I know, too that I will get back home.'When he arrived at the port in Majuro on board the naval ship that brought him from the atoll where he was found, he told MailOnline:
Miraculous survival: Jose Ivan, claims to have set off from Mexico for El Salvador in December 2012 but ended up traveling more than 8,000 miles to the Ebon Atoll.
Doctors said, however, that his body was bloated from the conditions he had suffered.His blood pressure was low and he walked cautiously, but it was more his mental condition than his physical appearance that medics on the main island suggested would be his greatest challenge in coming days.He is expected to suffer the ongoing effects of prolonged exposure, fear of death, starvation and lack of water. Watching his teenage companion die would have added to his ordeal - and that was before the real terror began as he drifted for more than a year across the ocean.
Authorities in El Salvador, where his family live, make arrangements for him to be flown home to his wife and daughter.It is not known that when he described his daughter as aged 10 whether he was referring to her when he had set off on his ill-fated fishing expediton.'I thought about them all the time,'. 'I think that by now they think that I am dead. So I want to go home and show them that I am alive. I thank God that I am here.'As evidence of his gratitude, when he was asked by interpreter Magui Vaca if he had prayed all the time, he put his hands together in an attitude of prayer. 'Always,' he replied.
Doctors said the fact that he was still alive after such a long period at sea, snatching what liquid and solid foods he could, was testament to his original good physical condition.A human can live for about three weeks without food but only three to five days without liquids.Turtle blood is rich in iron and proteins, providing the same sort of nutrition found in steak and eggs, but it is still a poor substitute for rainwater. He might also have consumed the turtles' eyes, for they are filled with fluid.Jose's constitution undoubtedly also ensured his survival.
Culled from mail online.

No comments:

Post a Comment