You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Castaway saga shifts to El Salvador

Jose Salvador Alvarenga was headed back to El Salvador.

Jose Salvador Alvarenga was headed back to El Salvador.

MAJURO, Marshall Islands — A Salvadoran man who says he drifted in an open boat across the Pacific for more than a year thanked people in the Marshall Islands for taking care of him and said he was ‘‘doing very well’’ before starting his journey home Monday.

Christopher Loeak, president of the Marshall Islands, bid Jose Salvador Alvarenga farewell at the airport.

Continue reading below

‘‘Thank you for the support, the support by your people,” Alvarenga told him in Spanish in a soft voice.

Alvarenga, clean-shaven and walking without assistance, said he was ‘‘doing very well.’’

He told officials during his two-week recuperation at a hospital and a hotel in the capital, Majuro, that he left Mexico in late 2012 with another fisherman when a storm threw them off course and he drifted across 6,500 miles of open ocean.

He said he survived on fish, birds, and turtles.

The other fisherman later died.

About 50 officials, volunteers and reporters gathered at the airport to see off Alvarenga.

He was flying first to Hawaii and then on to El Salvador to be reunited with his family.

Loading comments...

Wake up with today's top stories.

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of