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Man Survives At Sea For 24 Days By Eating Ketchup And Garlic Powder


Colombian Navy

In December, a 47-year-old man identified as Elvis Francois of Dominica was rescued by the Colombian Navy after being adrift at sea for 24 days. He had been working on his boat in St. Maarten when weather conditions suddenly worsened and he was dragged out to sea.

With limited navigation skills and unable to contact anyone, he wrote “HELP” on the back of his boat and survived on a mixture of ketchup, garlic powder, Maggi soup and water.

A plane eventually spotted his message for help.

“I tried to [go] back to port, but I lost track because it took me a while to mount the sail and fix the sail,” Francois said. “I call my friends, my coworkers. They tried to contact me, but they lost service. There was nothing else I could do than sit down and wait.”

“I had no food, just a bottle of ketchup that was on the boat, garlic powder and Maggi,” he continued. “So, I mixed it up w ith some water so I had this to survive for 24 days in the sea.”

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He was found 120 nautical miles away from Puerto Bolívar in the Caribbean Sea and taken to the Port of Cartagena for medical care and to return to Dominica.

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The navy reported he was in good health.

“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,” Francois said.

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