Salvador Alvarenga, who famously survived 15 months at sea, is now being sued for $1 million by a family that claims he ate their relative to survive.
Alvarenga, 36, had hired Ezequiel Cordoba for a fishing expedition off the Mexican coast in 2012. But the pair was hit with a massive storm that crippled their boat.
They survived by eating fish, birds and drinking their urine and turtle blood. Alvarenga said Cordoba died early on from starvation.
Before his death, Cordoba made Alvarenga promise that he would not eat Cordoba’s body and that he would find Cordoba’s mother and explain what happened, according to the Independent.
Alvarenga said he kept the 22-year-old’s body on board for six days out of sheer loneliness, then realized he was losing his grip on reality and threw the corpse overboard.
The survivor has long denied eating Cordoba’s remains, but the dead man’s family is suing him for compensation, claiming he cannibalized their loved one.
Ricardo Cucalon, Alvarenga’s lawyer, said the claims are not true, according to El Salvador’s El Diario de Hoy. The attorney also said the suit was aimed at getting a portion of royalties from a book Alvarenga wrote about his ordeal that was just published.
The tuna fisherman was stranded for more than a year and drifted more than 6,000 miles before he was rescued from an atoll in the Marshall Islands.