Real-Life Castaway Details Epic Survival

The castaway who claims he spent more than a year lost at sea, drifting some 6,000 miles from Mexico to a remote Pacific atoll, said Monday that he contemplated suicide after his traveling companion starved to death before his eyes.

"I was going to commit suicide," Jose Salvador Alvarenga told NBC News partner Telemundo in Spanish during a phone interview from the Marshall Island hospital where he is recovering from his ordeal.
"I wanted to kill myself, but no. I asked God that he was going to save me."

Alvarenga, 37, has told authorities in the archipelago, which sits in the middle of the ocean between Hawaii and Australia, that he survived for months on fish, small birds, sharks and rainwater.

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

Fishermen in the Mexican state of Chiapas told the El Universal newspaper that they knew Alvarenga and remembered the day he went missing.

"It’s a great surprise," fisherman Belarmino Rodriguez Solis told the newspaper in the Spanish-language article published Tuesday.

"Nobody survives more than two or three months in those conditions.

"We even laid flowers in the palm hut where he lived," Solis added. "When fishermen leave and do not return we look for them."

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