NBC News obtained exclusive photos of the Pacific castaway taken a day after he landed in the Marshall Islands in a 24-foot boat at the end of January.
Jose Salvador Alvarenga, 37, appeared emaciated and disheveled at the end of what he described as a year lost at sea. He first landed on the uninhabited islet of Tile (below) in Ebon Atoll, before he made his way across the channel to nearby Eneaitok Islet, where a couple gave him food until he was taken to Ebon Islet.
Alvarenga, originally from El Salvador, set off to work in Mexico 15 years ago. He said he and another man who died during the ordeal set out on a fishing trip off the Pacific coast of Mexico in November 2012 and went adrift.
Jose Salvador Alvarenga first came ashore on Tile Islet in Ebon Atoll, part of the Marshall Islands. Tile islet is currently uninhabited and Jose made his way across the channel to the neighboring Enenaitok islet where a couple provided food for him until a boat from Ebon islet could pick him up.
A dead whole turtle was found inside Jose Salvador Alvarenga's boat, after he came ashore. Alvarenga said he survived on raw fish, birds, turtles and his own urine.
The photos were supplied to NBC News by Michael Terlep, the chief archaeologist at the Republic of the Marshall Islands Historic Preservation Office.
Ione deBrum, the mayor of a collection of islands known as Ebon Atoll, took two of the photographs.
First published March 11 2014, 2:38 AM
Jonathan Sanger is an Associate Photo Editor for NBC News. He started this role in February of 2013, after interning at NBC News, beginning in April of 2012. Sanger is responsible for researching and editing the photographic report for stories on NBCNews.com. Sanger reports to James Collins, Director of Photography.
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Sanger joined NBC News after graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology with a B.F.A in photojournalism. Sanger previously interned at LIFE.com.
Sanger lives in New York City.