Castaway: Sailors Waved, Didn't Help Me
Jose Alvarenga recounts ordeal, asks to be left alone
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2014 8:42 AM CST
Jose Salvador Alvarenga bids farewell to Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak and people of the islands before flying home at an airport in Majuro, Marshall Islands Monday, Feb. 10, 2014.   (AP Photo/AP Video)
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(Newser) – Jose Salvador Alvarenga's apparent 13 months adrift in the Pacific Ocean may now be over, but his lengthy trip could have been cut a lot shorter, he says. Since returning to his home in El Salvador, Alvarenga has told doctors several large ships passed by his small fishing boat during his ordeal, but no help came, and not because they didn't see him; he says some even waved at him. "They passed close by, he asked them for help, and they didn't want to provide it," the country's minister of public health told the AP.

"He told us that he almost lost any hope of returning to the world because he did not get support," the minister continued, per the AFP, but "his desire to live was greater, he thought of his family and said that he wanted to live." Meanwhile, doctors say his health exams "have been basically close to normal," but Alvarenga "quickly fell into a depression and started crying" when he was met with reporters Tuesday, "because he's not ready to talk to the whole world," the minister said. Alvarenga explained further, noting, "I want to be alone with my family. They should give me time to talk after I have recovered, because right now I'm in no shape to explain anything."
 

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