World of the Bizarre
Castaway is sued over cannibalism claim
By T.K. Randall
December 17, 2015 · 17 comments
Alvarenga survived by eating fish and drinking rainwater. Image Credit: CC 2.0 Erik Kristensen
A man who survived 438 days adrift at sea is being sued for $1M over claims that he ate his companion.
Fisherman Jose Salvador Alvarenga and his friend Ezekiel Cordoba had set off from Mexico on a two-day fishing trip all the way back in November 2012, but when the pair ran in to difficulties they found themselves adrift in the Pacific with little in the way of supplies.
Alvarenga was eventually rescued over 14 months later near the Marshall Islands - a distance of 6,500 miles from his original starting point. He had managed to keep himself alive throughout his ordeal by eating fish and birds as well as by drinking rainwater and the blood of sea turtles.
Cordoba however was not so lucky and after just four months had unfortunately succumbed to the effects of living on a diet of nothing but raw meat. No trace of his remains has ever been found.
Despite Alvarenga's insistance that he had never turned to cannibalism, Cordoba's family is now understood to be suing the castaway in the belief that he had eaten his shipmate to stay alive.
According to reports his family members are requesting the sum of $1M over the incident.
The case comes just days after the release of a book detailing Alvarenga's ordeal.
"I believe that this demand is part of the pressure from this family to divide the proceeds of royalties," said his lawyer Ricardo Cucalon. "Many believe the book is making my client a rich man, but what he will earn is much less than people think."
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