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Pacific castaway prepares to return home on Friday after 13 months in fishing boat

Published on Feb 5, 2014 2:04 PM
Mrs Maria Julia Alvarenga, mother of castaway Jose Salvador Alvarenga, talks on the phone while showing a photograph of his son, in their fishing hometown of Ahuchapan on Feb 4, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (AFP) - Pacific castaway Jose Salvador Alvarenga was preparing on Wednesday for a faster and more comfortable journey home after 13 months adrift in a small fishing boat, as his mother called his rescue "a divine miracle".

Officials in the Marshall Islands said Mr Alvarenga would depart the tiny Pacific nation on Friday for Hawaii, before travelling on to El Salvador or Mexico.

"Most likely he will be repatriated back to El Salvador," foreign affairs official Anjanette Kattil told AFP.

"Initially we thought he was Mexican but even if he was not, the Marshall Islands would render assistance to anyone who washes up on our shores."

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