Living only on ketchup, garlic powder and bouillon cubes mixed in water, 47-year-old sailor Elvis Francois survived for almost a month following a shipwreck on a sailboat while he was making repairs off the island of St Martin, in the Netherlands Antilles, where he lives.
The currents took him offshore in early December, he was rescued 24 days later, when it was already January, thanks to an aerial sighting. Now the ketchup giant, Heinz, is trying to contact him to give him a new boat.
The firm has already contacted the government of Dominica, the island nation where Francois hails from, as well as the Colombian navy, which rescued him northwest of Puerto Bolívar in Colombia.
The dealer is now “asking the general public to try and help with the research” so they can donate “a new boat equipped with full navigation technology to avoid another disaster in the future”.
Heinz also launched the hashtag #FindTheKetchupBoatGuy to amplify the reach of the message. The man reconstructed the moments of his rescue: “I called my friends, they tried to contact me, but I lost the signal. There was nothing to do but sit and wait. For all the time I was adrift I had to remove the water from the hull in order not to sink”.
It signaled its presence to an aircraft by reflecting sunlight through a mirror. His sailboat had the word “help” carved into the hull.
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