Man lost at sea for a year sued for $1M over claims he ate his shipmate

Jose Salvador Arenga. Photo: Marshall Islands Dept. of Foreign Affairs

A man from El Salvador who survived over an entire year lost at sea is reportedly being sued for $1 million over accusations he ate the other occupant of his boat. The grieving family of his shipmate, who died one way or the other on the ill-fated voyage, claims the survivor survived by cannibalizing his companion.

Accused long-pig-eater Salvador Alvarenga paid 22-year-old Ezequiel Cordoba to accompany him on what was supposed to be a short fishing trip off Mexico's coast, reported UPI Espanol.

From USA Today's synopsis of the story, which is rather a big deal in Spanish-language news:

The small boat the pair were traveling in was swept into the open sea during a storm, and the pair lost all communication equipment and supplies, according to Alvarenga.

A few months after being lost at sea, Cordoba became weak and eventually died after eating a bird, according to Alvarenga, UPI reported. He said he tossed Cordoba’s body off the side of the boat, according to UPI.

Alvarenga said he survived a little over 14 months by drinking turtle blood, urine and eating any fish or birds he could catch.

Cordoba’s family disputes Alvarenga’s account and is demanding compensation for cannibalizing Cordoba.

Ricardo Cucalon, Alvarenga’s lawyer, says his client did not eat Mr. Cordoba--and the family's going after some of his book deal advance.