US & World

Man adrift 14 months at sea returns to El Salvador

In this image from TV, Jose Salvador Alvarenga, the Salvadoran man who said he spent more than a year drifting across the Pacific Ocean before finally making landfall in the Marshall Islands last week, makes a brief public appearance in Majuro, Marshall Islands, Thursday Feb. 6, 2014.  Looking clean shaven Alvarenga spoke briefly in a low voice, thanking the government and his friends for their help. (AP Photo/Campbell Live - TV3) NEW ZEALAND OUT
In this image from TV, Jose Salvador Alvarenga, the Salvadoran man who said he spent more than a year drifting across the Pacific Ocean before finally making landfall in the Marshall Islands last week, makes a brief public appearance in Majuro, Marshall Islands, Thursday Feb. 6, 2014. Looking clean shaven Alvarenga spoke briefly in a low voice, thanking the government and his friends for their help. (AP Photo/Campbell Live - TV3) NEW ZEALAND OUT
Uncredited

The plane carrying a fisherman who says he survived 14 months in a small boat drifting across the Pacific has landed in his native El Salvador.

Foreign ministry officials say 37-year-old Jose Salvador Alvarenga boarded in Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon for his final leg home to an excited family and international media circus.

His story stunned the world when he washed up in the Marshall Islands almost two weeks ago, saying he was fishing off the coast of Mexico in late 2012 when he got lost in a storm. His incredible tale of surviving on raw fish, turtles and bird blood initially left many skeptics, especially since he appeared robust and barely sunburned.

But doctors found him swollen, in pain and suffering from dehydration.