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Man claims he survived 13 months at sea on fish, birds and turtles

Man claims he survived 13 months at sea on fish, birds and turtles

By Joyce Lupiani. CREATED Feb 3, 2014

Here is a story you might find a little hard to believe. A man is claiming that he survived 13 months at sea, living off of birds, fish and turtles.

According to ABC News/Associated Press, 37-year-old Jose Salvador Alvarenga washed ashore on the tiny atoll of Ebon, a part of the Marshall Islands, in the Pacific Ocean last week.

Alvarenga claims that he left Mexico in December 2012 for a day of shark fishing. He says that he departed in a fiberglass boat with a teenager named Ezekiel.

Ebon is approximately 8,800 kilometers from Mexico. An oceanographer at the University of South Wales says that it is possible for a boat to drift that far in that time period.

A storm supposedly blew the pair off course and they were soon lost. Alvarenga says the teen died after about a month.

Alvarenga says that after he washed ashore, he had a "mountain of sleep." He also said that when he woke up, he heard two women screaming and yelling because he didn't have any clothes and was only dressed in ripped and torn underwear.

Officials are somewhat skeptical of the incredible tale.

Although Alvarenga showed up with long hair and a beard, he doesn't appear much worse for wear. In fact, officials say that rather than appearing emaciated, he looks puffy instead.

Other details of the fisherman's story don't quite add up either, including the exact location of his departure from Mexico.

See more US News from ABC|ABC World News

Joyce Lupiani

Joyce Lupiani

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Joyce Lupiani, who is based in Las Vegas at KTNV-TV Channel 13, is a contributor to