Man adrift for ’16 months at sea’ makes land on Pacific island

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NASA photo of Ebon Atoll (Wikimedia Commons)


An emaciated man that apparently survived 16 months adrift in the Pacific Ocean by eating birds, turtles, and fish floated over 8,000 miles from Mexico to a remote island in the Pacific, according to multiple media reports.

A Norwegian researcher told the Telegraph the Spanish-speaking man, Jose Ivan, is “not in good condition” after his 24-foot fibreglass boat washed up on a reef at Ebon Atoll.

Ebon Atoll is a coral atoll of 22 islands in the Pacific Ocean, and forms a legislative district of the Ralik Chain of the Marshall Islands.

The man set off from Mexico heading to El Salvador back in Sept. 2012 with a companion, who died at sea several months ago, according to the report.

“His condition isn’t good, but he’s getting better,” Ola Fjeldstad, a Norwegian anthropology student doing research on Ebon, told the AFP.

At this point, details of the man’s survival are limited due to the language barrier.

“The boat is really scratched up and looks like it has been in the water for a long time,” the researcher said. “He has a long beard and hair.”

In 2006, three men made headlines when they were found drifting in a small fibreglass boat near the Marshall Islands, nine months after setting out on a shark-fishing expedition.

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