Elvis Francois spent 24 days lost in the Caribbean Sea after a boat he was repairing drifted out, and he was able to survive by eating ketchup and seasoning, per CNN.
The 47-year-old, who is from Dominica in the Caribbean, spent almost a month adrift at sea when a plane saw the word “help” engraved on the hull of the sailboat. He was discovered 120 nautical miles northwest of Colombia’s Puerto Bolívar, which is just over 700 miles from where he started on the island of Saint Martin last month. The adverse weather conditions pushed his boat out to sea, and he lacked the navigational knowledge required to sail back to shore.
“24 days, no land, nobody to talk to, don’t know what to do,” he said in a video released by the Colombian Navy. “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.” After he was rescued, he was transferred to the port city of Cartagena to receive medical care.
“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,” he continued, while noting that he had to remove water from the boat to stop it from sinking. “There was nothing else I could do, than sit there and wait.” He has since been handed over to immigration authorities so that he can return home. “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.