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A Man Survived 440 Days Stuck at Sea

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You ever looked out at the open sea and thought, “What if I got swept away out there? What would happen to me?” Well, luckily for most of us, this is an unlikely scenario for a typical beach-goer. But this nightmare can come true if you're a fisherman and something has gone terribly wrong on your trip. That's exactly what happened to one man who spent over a year alone out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. His boat had neither a cabin nor any roof. And he even didn't have an anchor since he supposed that the trip wasn't going to take that long...

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TIMESTAMPS:
What was the man’s plan 0:40
Why he wasn't able to get to the shore 2:55
What do you know about the Pacific? 4:57
What was the worst thing 6:13
How the man got home 7:42

Music by Epidemic Sound https://www.epidemicsound.com/

SUMMARY:
- On November 17, 2012, 37-year-old José Salvador Alvarenga headed out on his fishing trip. His plan was pretty ambitious: he was going to spend 30 hours in the open ocean.
- This trip was gonna be dangerous, and, naturally, the man couldn't hit the water without a second pair of hands. He found a 22-year-old volunteer who agreed step in to.
- Alvarenga knew that a storm was rapidly approaching the area, but nothing could stop the fishermen from starting the journey. One good catch would be a week’s-worth of salary.
- That’s when the heavy rain started – the storm had reached the men. Alvarenga had to take drastic measures. He dumped all the fish and several thousand dollars-worth of equipment into the ocean.
- Several vessels and aircraft started a search-and-rescue operation that lasted for two days. But the weather was gradually getting worse, and it eventually became impossible to keep searching.
- Alvarenga and his fishing partner were left on their own. And 5 days later, when the winds had died down a bit, they were 280 miles away from the shore, out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, with nothing but blue water all around them.
- During their voyage, they fed themselves on raw fish and turtles that they’d caught with their bare hands. They also grabbed birds that were unlucky enough to land on the boat.
- But they were getting weak, especially Alvarenga’s fishing partner. Tragically, he did fall ill and wasn’t able to survive.
- The fisherman spent months adrift in the ocean. The boat kept going until one day he saw land! It was a small island, Tile Islet, that was part of the Marshall Islands.
- It turned out that Alvarenga had traveled almost 7,000 miles before he got to the shore. And he was fortunate to come across the island.
- After 11 days of rest and recuperation, the rescued fisherman had recovered enough to fly home to El Salvador.

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