NEW YORK (VINnews) — A Dominican man who was lost at sea for 24 days has survived, in part by consuming ketchup, garlic powder and bouillon cubes, according to officials.
Elvis Francois, 47, was rescued Jan. 15 after he was stranded for 24 days, according to the Colombian navy on Thursday. Francois had been fixing a sailboat in bad weather and was swept out to sea from the Carribean island of St. Maarten.
In a video clip released by the Colombian army, Francois, who appeared in good health, said that he did not have food on the boat and mixed ketchup, garlic powder and bouillon cubes that were on the boat, with water.
He was spared death and eating more ketchup when he used a mirror to reflect the sun and attract the attention of a passing plane.
Francois told Colombian officials that he had tried calling friends and that they has also attempted to contact him but there was no signal. “There was nothing else to do but sit and wait,” he said.
A plane spotted him when he used the mirror as a signal and scribbled “help” on the boat’s hull. He was picked up by a passing container ship about 120 nautical miles northwest of the Colombian port city of Cartagena.
“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,” said Francois.