WorldViews: The fascinating and ancient history of accidental trans-Pacific exploration

By Max Fisher, February 3, 2014

Here's what Jose Salvador Alvarenga says happened: On Dec. 21, 2012, he and a teenage acquaintance got into a 23-foot fiberglass boat for a day of shark fishing along Mexico's Pacific coast, where he lives. Then the boat was blown adrift by a storm. They drifted westward for 13 long months. Alvarenga, 37, survived by eating raw fish, birds and turtles. The teenager died after a month. The boat finally drifted near the Marshall Islands, 5,500 miles away in the western Pacific, where locals found and rescued Alvarenga.

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