Nightly News   |  February 04, 2014

Castaway’s Miraculous Story: Survival Against All Odds?

A man lost at sea for more than a year survived, he says, on only what he caught from a small fishing boat. It seems improbable, but doctors say it’s possible.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we are back as promised with the kind of story movies are made of. one was, but it starred tom hanks . this one is the modern day story of a man who has been lost at sea for over a year. surviving on what he could find and catch in his little boat.

>> his sea legs buckled as he planted his legs on solid ground. his tale of survival is as long as his matted here and long beard. prayer kept him alive. a storm washed his 24 foot fishing boat into the ocean, it drifted 6,000 miles for more than a year from mexico to the marshall islands , he says, without food, water or fishing gear . he told telemundo he used a box to block himself from the sun. i was going to kill myself. i watched my friend die of thirst. i prayed to god, get me out of here. he survived by eating raw fish , birds and turtle. and he drank rainwater whenever he could. doctors say it is possible, the 37-year-old who looks healthy, is said to have swollen organs from exposure to sun and salt. which could explain his bloated appearance. steven kellahan survived 76 days at sea.

>> it seems like the simpler explanation is that it actually happened.

>> if true, his story is what movies like castaway are made of. survival against all odds. news that has reached his family in el salva door.

>> thank you god she says. i didn't think i would ever hear this news. a castaway thought to be dead back on dry land with an incredible story, if it's true. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles .