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How This Fisherman Survived 14 Months Adrift In The Pacific Ocean

Kelsey Freeman

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A human being can only persist so much before their mind or body gives in. However, there is a special breed of human beings who when faced with dire situations persevere. They have that inner strength that allows them to push beyond the limitations of ordinary people and live. That was true for Salvador Alvarenga….

1. How it All Started

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This 36-year-old from El Salvador was out on his fishing boat doing what he knew best. However, his life took a turn for the worse on one of his fishing trips with a buddy of his. After just two days out in the open sea, the two men were faced with one of the hardest times of their lives.

2. The Fisherman

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Salvador Alvarenga was an ordinary fisherman trying to eke out a living on his fishing boat. He was going to go on the fishing trip with Ray Perez, a friend of his. However, something came up and Ray was not able to go along on the trip. Salvador then arranged for another friend of his, Ezequiel Cordoba to come on the fishing trip with him.

3. Supplies for the Boat

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They loaded their boat full of all the supplies they would need for the fishing trip. They did not forget to bring a mobile phone that they kept safely in a plastic bag. Other items that they brought along on the trip were a two-way radio, and GPS. Although they had never worked together before, they seemed to have a good idea of what they needed.

4. Going Back Home

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After about two days at the sea, the fisherman began his slow advance back to the coast. The sea was a bit rough, but it did not seem to be anything alarming. Salvador was handling the situation well. However, his friend did not seem to be coping so well.

5. The Storm Gets worse

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As the situation began to worsen, his buddy began to panic. He had signed on for the trip in a bid to make $50. However, he had not expected that the situation would be so bad. He held on desperately to the rails as the waves crashed into their boat. He was also vomiting and wailing quite loudly.

6. The Storm Calms Down

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Salvador was able to navigate through the storm. However, when things calmed down, he could see that they had drifted away from the shore. To make the situation worse, their motor was no longer working.

7. A Desperate Call

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When Salvador noticed that the boat’s motor was gone, he made a call to his boss. He told the boss about the predicament and that they had drifted miles away from shore. However, there was no response. To make things worse, their GPS was not working. The coast guard told them to anchor their boat and wait for rescue but Salvador had not brought along an anchor.

8. Boat Filling Up with Water

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The waves began to crash against their boat. They did their best to unload the water, but it was a lot of work. In the distance, they could see more waves coming towards them that were much bigger than their tiny boat. The waves were unpredictable, and it took all their effort just not to be thrown off the boat.

9. It Was Freezing Cold

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After being tossed around their tiny boat for hours, the effort to hold on had taken up all of their energy. They huddled together in a refrigerator-sized icebox in an effort to keep warm. The two men took turns going out into the sea to scoop out water from the boat.

10. Experience Saved Them

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Salvador could see a pond of water growing at their feet. However, he tried to ignore it, He knew that he needed to have the boat aligned with the sea if he was to avoid capsizing. He knew that if he could keep them alive, he would eventually find a way for them to navigate back to shore.

11. Taking Stock of What they Had

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After unloading water from the boat, the sailor and his buddy began to take stock of what they still had to worry about. Their boat was as long as two trucks and as wide as one truck. However, it had no raised structures and was thus invisible at sea. Their biggest problem, however, turned out to be their catch of fish.

12. Dumping the Fish

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The fishermen had managed to catch about 1,100 pounds of fish. However, the catch had made their boat top heavy. They needed to get rid of it or their boat would capsize. However, the act of dumping the fish would haunt them for weeks.

13. They Needed An Alternative Food Source

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As they continued to drift out to sea, their food supply continued to diminish. They were left with no food and no means to catch fish or to collect water. To fix their food shortage, the two began to catch sea turtles, seabirds, and jellyfish to satiate their hunger. Luckily, for them, it began to rain two weeks after they became stranded at sea.

14. Keeping it Together

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While Salvador had become accustomed to eating raw fish and seabirds, his friend was not doing so well. His physical and mental health had vastly deteriorated. One time his friend got sick from eating a seabird and swore never to eat again.

15. Cordoba’s Death

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Salvador promised to go the Chiapas, Mexico to tell his mother that he regretted not being able to say good-bye to her. After his friend died, Salvador was in grief he screamed at him “Don’t leave me alone! You have to fight for life! What am I going to do here alone?”

16. A Burial At Sea

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For a few days, Salvador pretended that Cordoba was still alive. He talked to him and answered himself. However, he eventually accepted that he was dead and threw him overboard.

17. An Island in the Horizon

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After drifting for a while after burying his friend at sea, Salvador came upon a small island. At first, he thought that it might be a hallucination. However, he eventually convinced himself it was real and moved towards it.

18. Land At Last

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Salvador crawled naked on the beach before he eventually came to the realization that he had reached land. It turned out he had come upon the Tile Islet, which was part of the Ebon Atoll.

19. Saved At Last

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He stumbled through the undergrowth until he reached a small canal. On the other side was a home of Emi Libokmeto and Russel Laikidrik, her husband. Despite unimaginable torment, Salvador had survived. He had been out at sea for 438 days. Soon he was reunited with his family. However, he took time to go and deliver a message to Cordoba’ mother

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The Origins of Memorial Day in America: Rooted in a History of Former Slaves and Bravery

Cynthia Brooke

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Memorial Day is widely celebrated in the United States, as a way to remember the heroism and sacrifice of those fallen American soldiers. The day has become a time of celebration and community gatherings. With parades, food, and fireworks., it’s just like July 4th. But, while we all know the origins of other American holidays (including the 4th of July), Memorial Day is still shrouded in lost and misunderstood history. The full story is not known, and it’s quite a tale! 

Who Invented Memorial Day? 

The first acknowledged Memorial Day is linked with the tragic loss of life in Charleston, South Carolina that took place toward the end of the Civil War. Hundreds of Union soldiers were left for dead at the Washington Race Course, a makeshift prisoner-of-war camp by the Confederate side. With Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s abrupt surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, 1865. The war had taken a brutal toll on both sides, but the end of the war inspired a mass exodus of Charleston by soldiers and citizens alike. Former slaves stayed behind. Inspired by patriotic fervor, they called themselves the “Patriotic Association of Colored Men.” They took it upon themselves to bring honor and dignity to the fallen soldiers left in the race-course prison in unmarked graves when the Confederate soldiers fled. 

They excavated the unmarked mass graves and then dug 257 individual graves, surrounded by a fence to ensure a place of honor and security. Once their final memorial was complete, the community turned out for “Decoration Day,” which is now recognized by many as the first Memorial Day, in 1865.  The event included the march on the race track, singing by 2,800 black school children, preaching by black ministers, and the wide-spread decoration of the graves.  It was a way to honor the soldiers, who’d been viewed as martyrs by the Patriotic Association of Colored Men. 

The Rest is History 

Tragic loss and sacrifice are at the center of virtually every version of the first Memorial Day celebrations, but the scale is important. The Decoration Day tradition was later launched in Waterloo, New York (and yes, they claim to have invented the first Memorial Day). Memorial celebrations for Confederate soldiers took place in April 1866, and then Union Major General John A. Logan declared May 5, 1868, to be Decoration Day. There are a number of conflicting reports and claims for the events and meaning of the commemorations that took place following the cessation of hostilities at the end of the Civil War. But that last event took place at  Arlington National Cemetery. The formalization of the event at Arlington, with the mass decoration of graves with flowers and flags, is part of why the 1868 event is widely considered to be the first national Memorial Day event in US History. 

Memorial Day was then set as a May 30th national holiday, and it has continued to evolve. The true history of the day is complicated by historical bias and the fickle memories of the participants, but the role of these men and women who had once been slaves is important. After all, the Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1, 1863, was just a few years old when the war ended. Former slaves signed up to become Union soldiers en masse. An estimated 25,000 soldiers fought for the Union Army, but approximately 10% of their ranks were former slaves. They fought bravely and with distinction. In fact, 16 black soldiers were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their heroism in battle. It’s about time that we recognized the hidden stories that have for so long gone untold. 

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You Will Not Believe These Classic Era Celebrities Who are Still Rocking Their Golden Years

Anjali DeSimone

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Past and Present

Have you ever watched a classic movie from Hollywood’s Golden Era and wondered where are they now, or just assumed that they were not here? Read on to see some of the biggest stars from days gone by who are ruing their own world in the new millennium.

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Brave Babysitter Steps Up, Saves Child From Dangerous Burglar

Brooke Hurbert

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Making the decision to hand your child over to a babysitter can be a hard one. Every parent has that nagging thought that runs through their head, “What if something goes wrong?”. Jonathan Lai and his wife called on Jenna Lee Baker in order to watch their three-year-old son for an afternoon. What seemed like a regular afternoon soon turned into a nightmare situation. Keep on reading to find out how Jenny turned into a modern-day superhero!

Welcome to Irvine

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Jonathan Lai and his family are based out of Irvine, CA. As a tightly-knit family, Irvine has plenty to offer. The metropolitan area is located in Orange County, CA. The area is known for being home to some truly amazing local attractions. In fact, Irvine is considered one of the best cities to live in the entire United States, at least according to Business Insider and WalletHub! Still, that doesn’t mean that tragedy cannot strike!

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