Colombian Navy rescues man who survived weeks of ketchup lost at sea


A man who spent 24 days adrift in the Caribbean Sea says he survived eating little more than ketchup.

Elvis François, 47, was found 120 nautical miles northwest of Puerto Bolívar in Colombia after a plane saw the word “help” carved into the hull of his sailboat, the Colombian navy said Thursday in a communicated.

“I had no food. It was just a bottle of ketchup that was on the boat, garlic powder and Maggi (bouillon cubes) so I mixed it with water,” Francois said in a video provided by the Colombian army.

Francois, from the island nation of Dominica, said he carried out repairs on his boat near the Dutch side of the island of St Maarten in December when adverse weather conditions pulled his boat out of the sea.

He said he lacked navigation knowledge and was unable to bring his boat to shore – spending weeks lost at sea.

“Twenty-four days – no land, no one to talk to. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know where you are. It was hard,” he said. “At a certain point, I lose hope. I think of my family.

After being rescued, he was transferred to the port city of Cartagena where he received medical treatment and was later handed over to immigration authorities for his return home, Colombian officials said.

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