Castaway eager to see lost friend’s kin

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IOL pic feb19 castaway and relatives

Reuters

Castaway fisherman Jose Salvador Alvarenga (second right) hugs his mother Maria Julia Alvarenga (right) and his father Ricardor Orellana (second left) while leaving the hospital in Santa Tecla, on the outskirts of San Salvador.

San Rafael, El Salvador - The Salvadoran castaway who survived more than a year at sea will soon travel to Mexico to see the family of a fisherman who perished on the same treacherous journey.

Jose Salvador Alvarenga has applied for a visa to Mexico and begun other preparations so he can go soon, his lawyer Benedicto Perlera told reporters on Thursday.

Alvarenga, 37, is currently in hospital after being re-admitted on Monday for swelling in his feet - a condition attributed to a parasite he contracted after eating raw fish and birds during his time at sea.

He had spent a week in the same San Rafael state hospital after his return to El Salvador.

He “hopes to be able to take a medical clearance to the Mexican embassy”, Perlera explained, adding “he wants to talk to the family of the young man”.

Alvarenga washed ashore in the Marshall Islands on January 30, telling reporters he survived a 12 500km voyage in a seven-metre fibreglass boat after leaving Mexico's Pacific coast 13 months earlier.

He said the Mexican fisherman with him on the trip died because he could not stomach a diet of urine, turtle blood, raw fish and bird flesh.

The family of the dead 24-year-old, who live in the town of Pijijiapan, in the southern state of Chiapas, had asked to speak with Alvarenga, who has the help of sponsors to fund his trip across the border, his lawyer said. - AFP


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