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article imageSalvadoran castaway visits family of dead shipmate

By AFP     Mar 14, 2014 in World

The Salvadoran castaway who says he survived more than a year at sea flew to Mexico Friday to visit the family of a man who died during the odyssey across the Pacific.

Jose Salvador Alvarenga, 37, was "looking forward" to the visit, his lawyer told AFP.

"He wants to see the family of Ezequiel and explain everything that happened," the attorney said.

Alvarenga says fellow fisherman Ezequiel Cordova, 24, died four months after their fishing boat broke down and was cut adrift because he could not stomach a diet of urine, turtle blood, raw fish and bird flesh. Alvarenga says he threw Cordova's body into the sea.

Alvarenga washed ashore in the Marshall Islands on January 30, telling reporters he survived the 12,500-kilometer (8,000-mile) voyage in a seven-meter (24-foot) fiberglass boat after leaving Mexico's Pacific coast 13 months earlier.

"It will be a very intimate encounter between Jose Salvador and Ezequiel's family," said lawyer Benedicto Perlera.

Alvarenga departed on a commercial flight from El Salvador International Airport, near the capital San Salvador, accompanied by his father Ricardo Orellana, his mother Maria Julia Alvarenga and Perlera.

They are expected to stay in Mexico until March 18.

Alvarenga says that he and Cordova made ​​a pact that if one of them survived, they would visit the other one's family to tell the astonishing tale.

"He wants to keep that promise, talk with the family and explain to them what happened," said Perlera.

The Mexican family has said it does not blame Alvarenga, who has risen to worldwide fame because of his story of survival, but wants to know what happened.

More about Marshalls, elsalvador, Mexico, Transport, Survival
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