Castaway who survived 15 months at sea accused of eating friend

The remarkable story of Mexican castaway Salvador Alvarenga has taken grim turn as the family of the boy who accompanied him on his ill-fated fishing trip off the coast of Chiapas Mexico has accused him of cannibalism and is suing for $1 million dollars.

Alvarenga was made famous in 2014 after spending 15 months adrift at sea in a small fishing boat. He set out for what was to be a two-day tuna fishing trip with a hired hand but they were blown severely off course only to have their engine die.

Alvarenga survived by drinking urine and turtle blood and eating sea birds he caught by hand. He finally reached land after 438 days when he washed ashore in the Marshall Islands. It is estimated his total voyage was between 5,500 to 6,700 miles.

The family of his crewmate Ezequiel Cordoba, a teenager who he had hired for $50, alleges he ate him to survive, while Alvarenga maintains he threw his body overboard six days after he died. The family’s lawsuit comes just days after Alvarenga released a book about the ordeal titled “438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea”.

Alvarenga’s lawyer who spoke with the El Salvadorian newspaper El Diario de Hoy said, “I believe that this demand is part of the pressure from his family to divide the proceeds of the royalties. Many believe the book is making my client a rich man but what he will earn is much less than the people think.”



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