This castaway may not have a best friend that resembles volleyball and goes by the name of Wilson, but he does seem to have endured an experience similar to the Tom Hanks character in the movie "Cast Away."
A 37-year-old man by the name of Jose Salvador Alvarenga told authorities that he had endured 13 months at sea, after he washed up with a badly damaged fishing vessel on a remote beach in the Marshall Islands last Thursday.
Alvarenga claims he left his home in Mexico in December of 2012 to go fishing and never made it back.
According to Alvarenga, he survived by eating fish, turtles and birds he caught, drinking rainwater and his own urine, CNN reported.
"It's hard for me to imagine someone surviving 13 months at sea," Tom Armbruster, U.S. ambassador to the Marshall Islands said according to USA Today. "But it's also hard to imagine how someone might arrive on Ebon out of the blue. Certainly this guy has had an ordeal, and has been at sea for some time.”
Ebon, the island Alvarenga was discovered on, is somewhat isolated, with only one phone line, no internet service and a 22-hour boat ride to the Marshall Islands’ capital of Majuro.
Alvarenga said that it was God who got him through his astonishing ordeal.
“I had my mind on God,” Alvarenga told The Telegraph in an interview. “If I was going to die, I would be with God. So I wasn’t scared.”
Though Alvarenga could prove to be beyond lucky if his story checks out, he claims he had a fishing partner who was not as lucky. Alvarenga said that he had a companion who was with him when the boat went a drift in the Pacific, but his friend didn’t make it because he refused to eat the raw meats.
When Alvarenga arrived on Ebon he was discovered by a group of people who “went over to meet him,” Ola Fjeldstad, a Norwegian anthropology student on Ebon Atoll told the BBC.
“When we got there we first found his boat, which was...grown over with shells and other sea animals," she said. "It had a live baby bird, a dead turtle, some turtle shells, and fish leftovers inside.”
"He was in really bad shape in terms of strength and in terms of mental health," Fjeldstad said.
Though Alvarenga’s story is extraordinary, it is also plausible, experts say. Alvarenga’s 5,000 mile journey is similar to one taken by three Mexican fishermen, whose boat went adrift in 2006, landing them in the Marshall Islands nine months later.