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April 20, 2014

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Man adrift 14 months at sea returns to El Salvador

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 | 5:50 p.m.

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — The plane carrying a fisherman who says he survived 14 months in a small boat drifting across the Pacific has landed in his native El Salvador.

Foreign ministry officials say 37-year-old Jose Salvador Alvarenga boarded in Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon for his final leg home to an excited family and international media circus.

His story stunned the world when he washed up in the Marshall Islands almost two weeks ago, saying he was a fishing off the coast of Mexico in late 2012 when he got lost in a storm. His incredible tale of surviving on raw fish, turtles and bird blood initially left many skeptics, especially since he appeared robust and barely sunburned.

But doctors found him swollen, in pain and suffering from dehydration.