Lost-at-sea fisherman just wants to go home

Jose Ivan said that he had left Mexico on December 24, 2012, to go shark fishing, putting his time at sea at 13 months, not the 16 months previously reported. Photo / Thinkstock
Jose Ivan said that he had left Mexico on December 24, 2012, to go shark fishing, putting his time at sea at 13 months, not the 16 months previously reported. Photo / Thinkstock

A Mexican fisherman who says he drifted for months across the Pacific Ocean before washing up on a remote Marshall Islands atoll is on his way to the islands' capital, hoping to begin his long journey home.

The fisherman, who has given his name as Jose Ivan, was picked up from isolated Ebon Atoll yesterday by a Marshall Islands sea patrol ship on course for the islands' capital Majuro, where he will undergo medical examinations.

"I want to get back to Mexico," Ivan told interpreter Magui Vaca in his first interview through a Spanish-speaking interpreter since drifting into the atoll on a 7.32m fibreglass boat.

"I feel bad," he told Vaca of his physical and mental state.

"I am so far away. I don't know where I am or what happened."

Ivan said that he had left Mexico on December 24, 2012, to go shark fishing, putting his time at sea at 13 months, not the 16 months previously reported.

No details have yet emerged as to why he began drifting, or what happened to a companion he said had died a few months ago.

When Ebon islanders discovered Ivan on their atoll last week they said he was wearing only ragged underwear, sporting a long beard and was unable to walk without assistance.

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