11 Feb 2014

Castaway begins journey home

12:03 pm on 11 February 2014

A castaway from El Salvador who claims he spent more than a year adrift in the Pacific has begun his journey home.

Jose Salvador Alvarenga thanked the president of the Marshall Islands, where he was found late last month, before boarding a flight to Hawaii on Monday.

He says he left Mexico for a trip in a fibre-glass boat in December 2012 with a friend who died on board.

He apparently survived the 8,000 km ordeal by catching fish, birds and turtles with his bare hands.

The 37 year old will make his way to El Salvador to be reunited with his relatives.

The fisherman was due to leave on Friday, but doctors said he needed more rest.