Jose Salvador Alvarenga (pictured above) came ashore on the island of Majuro on Monday after enduring 14 months in sea eating drinking his own urine, turtle blood, eating fish and seagull flesh. He left left Mexico for El Salvador in December 2012 with a companion, aged between 15 and 18, who died after four weeks. He told mail mailonline in an exclusive interview
'I cannot remember much about my journey. It has all gone into one thought - the sea, the sea.' 'I'm alive - I'm alive and I can't believe it. 'I survived because I prayed. I prayed all the time.'
Jose and his teenage fellow shark fisherman endured the most soul-destroying of conditions after their boat was left at the sole mercy of the currents when their engine broke down on December 21, 2012.
Despite their attempts to attract other vessels, they continued to drift further out to sea. He watched his teenage fishing companion, aged between 15 and 18, slowly die under the relentless sun.
Jose continued his own struggle for survival that was to endure for week after week, month after tortuous month, as he was forced to drink his own urine and pick ravenously at the raw flesh of seagulls.
Jose said he desperately wanted to phone his family - his wife and his 10-year-old daughter - in El Salvador but he cannot remember the name of the village or a phone number. 'I have forgotten many things,' he said.
He has even forgotten exactly how old he is. He 'believes' he is about 36 to 38, even though his ordeal has made him appear much older.
He was later found by the village people of Ebon atoll who put him into one of their own small boats and carried him to their main village where they clothed and fed him and gave him fresh water.
A Norwegan anthropology student, Ola Fieldstad, who was in the area managed to learn a little of his extraordinary story through sign language and a series of drawings. Then the local Mayor put a call through on the atoll's only phone to alert the authorities in Majuro about the castaway.
He is currently receiving treatment in the hospital.