A fisherman thought to be from El Salvador who washed ashore on the Marshall Islands said he survived more than a year adrift in the Pacific Ocean, drinking turtle blood and catching fish and birds with his bare hands.

Jose Salvador Albarengo, 37, told officials he set sail on a shark fishing trip from Mexico in late December 2012 - some 10,000 km (6,200 miles) away - but was blown out to sea.

He was found in a disoriented state on a remote coral atoll where he had been washed up over the weekend in his 7.3-meter (22-foot) fiberglass boat. A police patrol boat took him to Majuro, the capital of the islands.

"It was supposed to be a one-day fishing expedition, but they were blown off course by the northern winds," Thomas Armbruster, the U.S. Ambassador to the Marshall Islands, told the media.

A male nurse helped him down the gangplank before he was whisked away to hospital for medical checks.

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