Castaway Being Sued For $1 Million For Allegedly Eating Shipmate To Survive

A fisherman from El Salvador named Jose Salvador Alvarenga experienced one of those epic stories you see in movies that you think rarely happens in real life. Alvarenga survived 15 months lost at sea; only now he is being sued by the family of his co-castaway for one million dollars, who accuse him of eating the man.

Jose Salvador Alvarenga shortly after he was rescued.

  • Here is what happened: in December 2012 Alvarenga hired Ezequiel Cordoba to help him on a shark fishing expedition that was supposed to last only two days. Unfortunately for them the sharks weren’t the only thing allegedly going to be doing the biting.
  • They set off from the coast of Mexico and shortly after their trip began a huge storm came in disabling both the boat’s engine and radio.
  • For a while Alvarenga says the two survived by fishing, eating raw bird meat, and collecting rainwater and even drinking their own urine. Kevin Costner would be proud.
  • Sadly four months into being lost at sea Corboda died. According to Alvarenga his shipmate made him promise two things before he went; that Alarenga would NOT eat his corpse – and that he would find his mother to tell her what happened. I guess he wasn’t a fan of The Donner Party OR Jeffrey Dahmer.
  • Alvarenga’s tale of survival for so long at sea was so epic that when he finally came ashore in the Marshall Islands, nearly 5,500 miles away in February of 2014, authorities were skeptical he was telling the truth. Hopefully this guy isn’t haunted by that dude he allegedly ate, nobody will believe that either.
  • When he first came ashore he was weak, and could barely walk or talk. Eventually he was able to meet with Cordoba’s mother as he promised:


  • Now, however the family of Ezequiel Cordoba is suing him for one million dollars, claiming he ate the man. At first they did not blame Alvarenga for his death, but recently have changed their minds…
  • Alvarenga’s lawyer says that they are motivated by money as he just published a book about his experience called 438 Days. In it he details how after Cordoba died he “made friends” with the corpse and spoke to it for about a week before he pushed the body overboard, fearing his own sanity.
  • Alvarenga says that Corboda simply couldn’t stomach some of the raw bird meat that he ate to survive and quickly grew weak and died from lack of food. Everyone is a critic of the chef!

Do you believe the castaway Alvarenga or do you think he ate his shipmate?

Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney

Source: Business Insider