How 1 Man Survived Being Lost 438 Days at Sea

this video is made possible by curiosity stream watch any of their more than 2000 documentaries for free by visiting curiosity stream comm slash real life lure the Pacific Ocean is mind-bogglingly big if you started here off the coast of northern Chile and dug a hole straight through the earth and came out on the other side you discover that you’d still be in the Pacific Ocean in the South China Sea the Pacific covers about one-third of Earth’s entire surface and it’s bigger than all of the land on earth combined except for a few scattered islands that’s also mostly empty which means that if you’re ever unfortunate enough to get lost here there’s a very good chance that nobody will ever find you which makes the story of Jose Salvador Alvarenga and his rescue all the more fascinating he currently holds a world record that he achieved on accident and that probably nobody wants to beat the longest time spent being lost at sea against all odds he somehow survived being lost for 438 days in the Pacific so his record probably won’t be beaten anytime soon but how did he do it the answers lie in how his misadventure began in 2012 alvarenga was an experienced fisherman in Mexico on November 17th he and another guy named Ezekiel Cordoba departed together on their small fishing boat from the tiny fishing village of Costa Azul on the Mexican Pacific coast they planned to only work for a 30 hour fishing shift so their boat was pretty small and not at all equipped for the nightmare that would come it was basically a canoe with no roof or cabin was only seven meters long and only had one small motor and a refrigerator for storing their fish they knew that a storm was coming near the area but fishermen in these parts of Mexico can earn enough money in a day to support themselves for an entire week so they decided to take their chances and traveled 120 kilometers away from the coast to work at 1:00 a.m. the storm hit them and was threatening to sink their boats in a panic that the two men cut their fishing lines and dropped everything they catch and most of their gear overboard to make themselves more maneuverable they were 6 hours away from the coast so they traveled through the storm and the night in a desperate attempt to get back by 7:00 a.m. there were only 24 kilometers away from the coast and could see mountains on the horizon but then awful luck struck them and their motor died without any paddles oars or sails the unusually strong wind began pushing their boat back out towards the ocean they’re on board radio still thankfully worked however so they frantically reported their position to their boss who responded saying that he was coming but their battery died and all they heard afterwards was silence imagine the frustration that they must have both felt in that moment as their radio died in all contact with the outside world with it and as they watched the mountains in the horizon that they were so close to slowly disappear as their boat that they were trapped on gradually was pushed back out into the vast abyss their boss did organize a search party to look for them for days but as their boat drifted further out into the vastness of the Pacific it got harder and harder so they eventually were forced to give up just five days later the winds had already blown them 450 kilometers off the coast before finally settling down they were surrounded by nothing but ocean in every direction and their boat was so small they knew that they probably would never be spotted from the air they had no flare gun or any other way to signal for help other than by waving so they knew that their chances of survival were going to be slim they had no supplies left on board so they were forced to catch tiny fish or birds that landed on their boat with their bare hands for food they grabbed plastic bottles that they found floating nearby them and used them to collect rainwater for drinking water but during long periods of no rain they were forced to mostly drink the blood of turtles that they caught with their hands or their own urine imagine going day after day month after month in a tiny box with only one other person to talk to and the only other ways to entertain yourselves being catching fish or napping it’s easy to understand how somebody could go insane under these conditions which according to Alvarenga story his friend did the other guy Cordoba gave up hope about four months into their isolation and became suicidal he got sick from all of the raw food that they were eating and refused to eat and eventually starve to death alvarenga was then all alone in the middle of nowhere with no other human in sight as far as the horizon could see a tiny speck inside of the enormous Pacific and as you can see from this shipping map the Central Pacific where he was somewhere at is a very quiet part of the world ships rarely come through this area but even still he claims to have encountered one when he was alone a cargo ship apparently passed right by him and four men on board spotted him and waved but they just kept moving past him and never even bothered to stop imagine how frustrated he would have been again if you were lost for months you were all alone and you finally spotted rescue but they just ignored you and kept on moving 11 months in and Alvarenga had traveled about 8,000 kilometers across the ocean in his tiny little boat his clothes were shredded and he only had a sweatshirt to protect himself against the Sun but finally on the 30th of January 2014 he spotted coconuts bobbing around his boat and Birds landing around him he knew that land was near and after drifting some more he discovered an island that appeared to be uninhabited it took him half a day just adrift near the shore when he finally jumped out of his boat and left its safety for the first time in over a year he swam ashore and discovered a house and when he knocked he made contact with the first other humans since he left his village in Mexico 438 days ago and after traveling nearly 11,000 kilometers to put into perspective just how far away that is imagine starting in a tiny boat in Lisbon Portugal and traveling less than one mile per hour until you drifted across the land to her Oshima Japan Alvarenga ended up washing ashore on the ebon atoll which is the southern tip of the Marshall Islands and one of the most remote spots on the planet had he missed this spot the next likely stop for him would have been the Philippines nearly 5000 more kilometers away and since it took him 438 days to travel roughly 11,000 kilometers it probably would have taken him about 240 more days to hit the Philippines fortunately for him though he somehow landed on this tiny tiny speck in the middle of the biggest ocean on earth and got himself rescued because of it later he was flown back to his home in El Salvador where he published a book and got himself sued by the family of his friend who died on the boat because they claimed that he probably ate him so the lesson is even if you survive more than a year stranded at sea you could still end up getting sued over something that you may or may not have actually done while you were out there but if you’re like me and the ocean terrifies you so much that you’ll never actually go but you want to learn more about the terrifying scale and the weird creatures that live there anyway you can learn more from the comfort of your phone or PC in your own home by checking out curiosity stream next curiosity stream is the first streaming service that exclusively streams documentaries and educational videos so if you like watching poorly made educational videos on this channel you’ll love professionally made.

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