A DOMINICAN MAN WAS LOST AT SEA 24 DAYS, AND SURVIVED ON NOTHING BUT KETCHUP, SEASONING AND RAINWATER
A man was lost at sea in the Caribbean for 24 long days, and survived on nothing but Ketchup, seasoning packets and rainwater. His name is Elvis Francois, and the 47-year-old Dominican man was doing repairs last December off the island of St. Martin when currents swept his sailboat out to sea. St. Martin is in the Netherlands Antilles. He was quickly lost, and tried to call his friends. They then tried to contact him, but he didn’t have enough signal in the middle of the sea. So what could he do? Nothing much, except simply sit and wait.
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NO CELL SIGNAL, NO SIGNAL FIRE, AND NO PLANES RESPONDING TO MIRROR LEFT HIM ADRIFT
Well, eventually that was true. He also tried to light a signal fire as a distress signal but had no luck. So he also tried writing the word “HELP” on the hull of the boat, and used a mirror to flash any planes that passed overhead. So sit and wait became is daily bread, almost literally, for 24 days. But of course there was no daily bread. Francois only had Ketchup, garlic powder and Maggi seasoning cubes to eat for all that time. For water, he collected rainwater using a cloth. Francois now says he lost a lot of weight during the ordeal while lost at sea.
AFTER 24 DAYS SURVIVING ON KETCHUP, A NAVY PLANE SPOTTED HIM AT LAST
But sitting and waiting finally paid off. Francois at some point had lost hope of being saved and ever seeing his family again. He was exhausted from only eating ketchup, seasonings and a small amount of rainwater. And he was even more exhausted from needing to bail the sailboat to prevent it from sinking. But on the 24th day, a Navy ship spotted him 120 nautical miles northwest of Puerto Rico in La Guajira. After rescuing him from his wayward sailboat, a nearby container ship took him to the port city of Cartagena, where he received treatment from the Columbian Navy. They also made sure he made his way back home to his family.