A sailor has been saved after surviving 24 days at sea with only ketchup and spices to eat. According to People, the man was found 120 miles from the port of Puerto Bolívar, Colombia. And was saved by the navy after a plane saw the word “help” engraved on the hull of his boat.
Sailor survives 24 days at sea eating ketchup and food seasoning https://t.co/jvmi7eutHY
– Everyone (@everyone) January 20, 2023
The Sailor Accidentally Drifted Out to Sea
Elvis Francois said he was repairing his boat near St. Martin, bad weather pushed him out to sea. According to the Colombian Navy report, Francois did not have “any kind of maritime knowledge”. And finally, ended up being lost.
Twenty-four days — with no land, no one to talk to, not knowing what to do, not knowing where I am — was difficult… At times, I lost hope. I think about my family.
According to NBC News, the 47-year-old sailor tried to contact family and friends using his cell phone. But as he drifted farther and farther from land, he eventually lost his ability to serve.
I could do nothing but sit down and wait.
To survive, Francois must rely on the limited supplies he has amassed on his boat.
I have no food. It’s just a bottle of ketchup on the boat, garlic powder and Maggi [food seasoning]. So I mixed it with some water.
Colombian Navy Commander Carlos Urbano Montes said Francois caught rainwater in a towel to drink, as reported by the Associated Press. In addition, Francois had to constantly drain the water from the boat so it wouldn’t sink. And he also tried to make a distress signal by lighting a fire, but failed.
He fought to keep his sinking ship afloat with only ketchup, spices and rainwater to keep him alive https://t.co/xcAaKlBT4W
– ITV News (@itvnews) January 20, 2023
The Rescue of 47-Year-Old Sailors Lost at Sea
According to NBC News, Francois wrote the word “help” on the hull of his boat. It was discovered by an aircraft. A passing merchant ship saved the man. Later, naval officials arrived to provide further assistance.
Montes explained that the 47-year-old was found to be in good health but had lost weight. In addition, Francois was medically examined in Cartagena after being rescued. After that, he was handed over to the immigration management agency to receive a vehicle to be transported back to the country where he lived. The 47-year-old is originally from the Caribbean island of Dominica.