The authorities on the Marshall Islands are now trying to establish the identity of the body and where the boat has come from after it was found on Likiep Atoll

A boat containing a decomposed body has been discovered washed up on the remote Likiep Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

Authorities believe the boat and its grisly contents originated from Latin America after identity cards of one Mexican national and two Colombians, along with paperwork were found on board.

Speaking to Arab News, the mayor of Likiep Atoll, Veronica Wase, said it was proving difficult to identify the person found on board.

“The body was really decomposed, so we couldn’t identify it with the ID cards we found on the boat,” said the mayor.

The boat was discovered by two fisherman from Likiep Atoll, which is one of 29 inhabited atolls that make up the Marshall Islands.

They alerted the local authorities on Friday (1 September) who immediately contacted the government and law enforcement in the capital, Majuro.

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Officials are now in touch with the Mexican embassy in the Philippines to try and establish the identify of those who were on board the 20-foot blue fibreglass boat, which had a 150 horsepower engine.

This is not the first time that fishermen from Latin America have drifted in their boats to the Marshall Islands.

On 30 January 2014, an El Salvadoran fisherman, José Salvador Alvarenga, swam ashore at Tile Islet, a small island that is part of Ebon Atoll.

A fisherman with a beard steps off a boat in the Marshall Islands

Jose Salvador Alvarenga arrives in Majuro after a 22-hour boat ride from isolated Ebon Atoll. Credit: GIFF JOHNSON/AFP/Getty Images

He claimed to have spent the last 14 months at sea, having left Mexico with another fisherman on 17 November 2012.

After being caught in a storm for five days, which damaged the engine and the electronics on board, the pair were left drifting.

Sadly, Alvarenga’s companion died, while the 36-year-old survived for 438 days on a diet of raw fish, turtles, small birds, sharks, and rainwater.

He is the first person in recorded history to have survived in a small boat lost at sea for more than a year.