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Sailor lost at sea for 24 days survived on a bottle of ketchup and garlic powder

Sailor lost at sea for 24 days survived on a bottle of ketchup and garlic powder

A man spent 24 days lost in the Caribbean Sea after his boat drifted and was left surviving on ketchup and garlic powder until his rescue.

A man who was rescued from the Caribbean Sea after spending 24 days stranded survived the ordeal by eating ketchup and seasoning he had aboard the vessel.

Elvis Francois, a 27-year-old man from Dominica, had spent nearly a month lost at sea before a plane spotted the word 'help' - something he had engraved into his sailboat in the hopes of being rescued.

Francois was discovered 700 miles from where he started his restoration project on the boat on the island of Saint Martin. Adverse weather conditions had dragged his boat out to sea and without the correct navigational knowledge, Francois wasn't sure how to sail back to the shore he had came from.

After being rescued, Francois shared his account of the gruelling experience with the Colombian Navy, saying: "24 days, no land, nobody to talk to, don’t know what to do."

Elvis Francois after finally being rescued.
NBC News

And later, in a video interview with NBC News, Francois described how he survived off a combination of ketchup and garlic powder.

“It was rough. … Without no food, it was just a bottle of ketchup that was on the boat. Garlic powder and Maggi (stock cubes), so I mixed it up with some water," he explained.

Following his rescue, he was then transferred to Cartagena for medical care.

Francois did attempt to get back to Saint Martin, explaining: “I tried to [go] back to port, but I lose track because it take me a while to mount up the sail and fix the sail.

The boat was taking on water so he had to prioritise keeping the vessel dry to stop it from sinking. He also tried to light a fire to send a distress signal, but it proved unsuccessful.

The distance Francois had travelled from drifting out to sea.
NBC News

“There was nothing else I could do, than sit there and wait,” he continued.

Francois has since been handed over to immigration authorities in the hopes of returning home soon.

The sailor also admitted that he did consider giving up hope, but was thankful to be rescued by the Caribbean Naval Officials and passing container ship who helped bring him to land and returned him to safety.

“At some point I lost hope and thought about my family, but I thank the coast guard. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be telling the story," he added.

Featured Image Credit: NBC News

Topics: World News