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Castaway Survived 15 Months At Sea, His Battle Isn't Over Yet

Salvador Alvarenga, 36, washed ashore in January of last year in the Marshall Islands. He spent 438 days adrift in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He and crewmate Ezequiel Cordoba, 22, drifted 6,700 miles from the coast of Mexico after their sailing effort was broken by a storm.

Alvarenga, from El Salvador, said he stayed alive by drinking urine and turtle blood. He also ate fish and birds he caught by hand. He said his friend starved to death early on, and he left the rotting body on the boat's for six days for company. Yet, Cordoba's family is now demanding a million dollars compensation because they claim that Alvarenga ate Cordoba in order to survive.

Alvarenga's lawyer, Ricardo Cucalon, says that Alvarenga threw his friend's body overboard. He stated, "I believe that this demand is part of the pressure from this family to divide the proceeds of royalties. Many believe the book is making my client a rich man, but what he will earn is much less than people think."

Cordoba's mother filed the lawsuit just weeks before Alvarenga's book of his ordeal was set to be published. Alvarenga and Cordoba's boat disappeared during bad weather on November 17, 2012.

Nearly a year and a half later, Alvarenga washed up on the remote Pacific atoll of Ebon in the Marshall Islands. After a series of tests, doctors said he was in good physical health. All he needs is physiotherapy for a spinal injury.

Alvarenga added, "I always had faith in God that I was going to live, asking Him every day, every night." He said he was so hungry that he even grabbed and ate jellyfish. He shared "It burned the top part of my throat, but wasn't so bad."

Photo: Mirror

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