Sea survivor's Salvadoran family gave him up

Associated Press

GARITA PALMERA, El Salvador (AP) — The amazing survival of a Salvadoran fisherman after 14 ½ months and 6,500 miles in an open boat has proven a double miracle for his mother and father, who lost touch with him eight years ago and thought he had died long ago.

The joyful, sometimes tearful reaction of the parents of sea survivor Jose Salvador Alvarenga may also help shed light on a mystery-shrouded survival that some say defies belief.

Among the questions that remain unanswered is how the strong, stocky fisherman survived where few others could, why he has forgotten many basic details of his life and what exactly happened to the teenage companion he says perished amid the waves

His father, Jose Ricardo Orellana, on Tuesday described a strong, stocky young man with a love of the ocean that led him to go to sea at 14. "The sea was his thing," he said.

The parents also said his boyhood nickname "Cerilo" coincides with the name of a man registered with civil defense officials in Mexico as disappeared during a storm in November 2012.