A man who survived being lost at sea for nearly a year and a half has found himself in a legal battle with the family of his shipmate who did not survive. The deceased man’s family is suing the survivor for $1 million, alleging that he ate his shipmate while lost at sea.
Jose Salvador Alvarenga spent a total of 438 days lost at sea following a November 2012 expedition in which he and Ezequiel Cordoba hopped aboard and headed to the Mexican village of Costa Azul, only to get caught in a storm. The motor on their boat, as well as their radio – and only form of communication – quit working.
Alvarenga said they survived by eating raw fish, uncooked birds and turtles, as well as drinking their own urine, but Cordoba became sick after eating a bird, which they later discovered had a venomous snake in its gut. Corboda succumbed to his sickness and died about four months after they became castaways.
Alvarenga said he kept Corboda’s body – which has yet to be recovered – aboard for six days before finally dumping it into the sea. He has always denied eating his shipmate to survive, something which, according to Alvarenga, he promised Corboda before he died that he would not do.
Alvarenga’s attorney believes the lawsuit is nothing more than a financially-driven fiasco, coinciding with the release of a book penned by Alvarenga titled “438 Days,” which Corboda’s family previously demanded 50 percent of the royalties.