Jose Salvador Alvarenga: Castaway Released After Second Hospital Stint

Image: Jose Salvador Alvarenga: Castaway Released After Second Hospital Stint

Friday, 07 Feb 2014 01:35 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Jose Salvador Alvarenga, the castaway who washed up on shore in the Marshall Islands last week and said he was lost at sea for 13 months, was released from the hospital Friday after being readmitted a day earlier when his health took a turn for the worse.

Physicians told CNN that Alvarenga's limbs had begun swelling from dehydration and his vitamin levels dipped dangerously low. Officials said he was discharged Friday and is staying at a hotel in Majuro, the capital of the chain of islands between Hawaii and Australia.

Alvarenga briefly addressed the media on Thursday, thanking the government and people of the Marshall Islands before doctors ordered him back to the hospital for treatment.

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The El Salvadoran had been living in Mexico before he and another friend went on a fishing trip in December 2012, according to CNN. He washed up 6,000 miles away from his starting point on the Ebon Atoll in the Marshall Islands on Jan. 30.

Alvarenga told NBC's Telemundo in a telephone conversation Monday that he went fishing with Ezequiel Cordoba but a strong storm disoriented them and blew them off course. He said that Cordoba eventually died of starvation after the two tried to survive on raw fish, birds, and rainwater.

"When there was nothing, I would eat nothing," he told Telemundo. "I would drink my urine. I spent a lot of time without eating."

Alvarenga said that he even thought about taking his own life after Cordoba died.

"I was going to commit suicide," he said. "I wanted to kill myself, but no. I asked God that he was going to save me."

There are still inconsistencies in Alvarenga's story, including the fact that he could not recall his own birth date or home address, remember the last name of his employer, or explain why there was no fishing gear on the boat.

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