Idiomas CAT

Salvador, un infierno de 438 días

Today I will comment on the book SALVADOR, the odyssey of resistance that the shipwrecked Salvador Alvarenga lived in the ocean.

Without a doubt, I recommend reading it, it is intense and absorbing.

The American investigative journalist Jonathan Franklin (

Narrates in detail this fascinating story of ingenuity and brutal determination of a castaway to survive 438 days adrift.

On a gray day in November 2012, Salvador and Ezequiel went out to sea, with a storm warning, to catch sharks in a boat without a deck of only 6 meters in length.

They reached the storm away from the coast and during the hard return they failed the engine making it impossible to return to land.

On January 30, 2014, with a bushy beard, barely able to speak or walk, Salvador arrived in the Marshall Islands, drifting more than 7,000 nautical miles.

How can you survive fourteen months, without help, on the high seas?

To survive requires discipline, preparation and faith.

Salvador believed in Santa Muerte, but faith in God acquired it through his companion Ezequiel.

Ezekiel died weakened by not being able to eat raw birds after he became poisoned with one.

How were they fed?

Salvador and Ezequiel ate what they managed to fish or hunt. They fished the fish that came closer than the account to the boat, they consumed the barnacles embedded in the hull.

They caught the birds that stopped to rest on deck using the cat technique. This technique consists in waiting quietly for as long as necessary and assaulting the bird in a sudden manner.

Salvador was not averse to anything, he came to eat nails, his own hairs, jellyfish and garbage that they found floating in the ocean.

They suspect that he fed on his mate once he died. He denies it, I believe him.

He drank water from the rain, drops of dew, turtle blood and even his own urine.

How was he entertained?

Boredom is an emotional state that does not help in survival.

To entertain himself, he used imagination to create fantasies. He imagined scenes of delicacies, parties and other pleasures.

Provisioning tasks also help entertainment as they sharpen the genius.

Salvador also talked with the captured birds alive, and even came to play ball with them.


It is common to confuse the reality of fantasy, this is due to fatigue, lack of food and dehydration. Having no one with whom to contrast the reality of fantasy becomes more complicated to discern.

Salvador was about to jump inside the mouth of a whale to escape the boat.

I was not aware if the sighting of some freighters was a dream or reality.

Author: Jordi Mateu professor of Yacht Point and the School of Nautical

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