A fisherman who claims he spent more than a year adrift in the Pacific has returned home to El Salvador.
With his bushy beard gone, Jorge Salvador Alvarenga, 36, appeared fresh faced but his health remains fragile. When confronted by a throng of reporters, clearly moved, he was unable to speak.
Alvarenga says he was washed ashore in the Marshall Islands at the end of last month after leaving southern Mexico on a shark hunting trip in late December 2012. He claims he survived by drinking turtle blood and catching fish and birds with his bare hands.
He was found in a disoriented state on a remote coral atoll in his 7.3-metre fiberglass boat, some 10,000 kilometres away in the Marshall Islands.
Alvarenga, a fisherman for 15 years, said he set sail with another fisherman who died weeks into their ordeal.
He was reunited with his family before being taken to a local hospital for further tests. Given his new found celebrity status, it appears he is going to need as much rest and recovery time as he can get.