438 Days

An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea

438 Days

“The best survival book in a decade” (Outside magazine), 438 Days is the true story of the fisherman who survived fourteen months in a small boat drifting seven thousand miles across the Pacific Ocean.

On November 17, 2012, a pair of fishermen left the coast of Mexico for a weekend fishing trip in the open Pacific. That night, a violent storm ambushed them as they were fishing eighty miles offshore. As gale force winds and ten-foot waves pummeled their small, open boat from all sides and nearly capsized them, captain Salvador Alvarenga and his crewmate cut away a two-mile-long fishing line and began a desperate dash through crashing waves as they sought the safety of port.

Fourteen months later, on January 30, 2014, Alvarenga, now a hairy, wild-bearded and half-mad castaway, washed ashore on a nearly deserted island on the far side of the Pacific. He could barely speak and was unable to walk. He claimed to have drifted from Mexico, a journey of some seven thousand miles.

438 Days is the first-ever account of one of the most amazing survival stories in modern times. Based on dozens of hours of exclusive interviews with Alvarenga, his colleagues, search-and-rescue officials, the remote islanders who found him, and the medical team that saved his life, 438 Days is an unforgettable study of the resilience, will, ingenuity and determination required for one man to survive more than a year lost and adrift at sea.
  • Atria Books | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501116292 | 
  • November 2015
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About the Author

Jonathan Franklin
Photograph © Amy Franklin

Jonathan Franklin

Jonathan Franklin regularly reports for The Guardian, VICE, and Esquire. He also works with the team at Retro Report producing documentaries broadcast by The New York Times. Based in Santiago, Chile, and Manhattan, Franklin reports on Latin America. Franklin’s previous book 33 Men, the exclusive account of Chilean miners trapped nearly a kilometer underground, became a national bestseller in the US and UK and was translated into nineteen languages. He can be contacted @FranklinBlog and JonathanFranklin.com.