Imagine your worst fear of being lost in the open sea in nothing but a canoe. Then imagine that you’re drifting. That means no motor, no oars, nothing to propel you but the wind and the waves.
On November 17th, 2012, El Salvadoran fisherman Salvador Alvarenga (37) was working as a fisherman off the coast of Costa Azul, Chiapas, Mexico.
He went out two miles from shore with his assistant Ezequiel Cordoba (22) in a 25-foot long canoe-shaped boat.
They let out their two-mile long fishing line for a while, until a raging storm suddenly blew in out of nowhere, catching them off guard. Crashing waves filled their boat. They quickly realized they were six hours away from land in a small boat.
When they were 15-miles off the coast, the motor died.
Winds blew them 28-miles offshore! They kept drifting, no rescue boats or helicopters in sight.
Drifting for months in the frighteningly open Pacific Ocean, they subsisted on rainwater, turtle “steaks”, turtle blood, triggerfish and seabirds.
The kid, Cordoba, tried committing suicide by jumping into shark-infested waters. He was saved by Alvarenga but unfortunately Cordoba died not long after due to starvation.
After six days of praying over the body, Alvarenga gave him an at-sea burial.
Finally, on January 30th, 2014, Alvarenga washed ashore on the Ebon Atoll, a tiny tropical island in the remote Marshall Islands, one of Earth’s remotest spots. The next closest landmass was the Philippines, which are 3,000 miles away.
Salvador Alvarenga had drifted for 14-months and over 7,000+ miles across the Pacific Ocean.
After 11 days recuperating, he went to El Salvador to see his daughter Fatima and rejoice.