Man lost at sea survives on ketchup for 24 days | Daily News

Man lost at sea survives on ketchup for 24 days

COLOMBIA : A man from the Caribbean island of Dominica says he survived 24 days lost at sea in a sailboat by eating ketchup before being rescued in Colombian waters, the country's naval authority said.  

"I had no food. There was only a bottle of ketchup that was on the boat, garlic powder and (bouillon cubes) Maggi. So I mixed it up with some water for me to survive 24 days in the sea," Elvis Francois, 47, said in English in a video released by the Colombian Navy.  

The islander had the word "help" carved on the hull of the boat when he was found 120 nautical miles northwest of Puerto Bolivar in the northern department of La Guajira.  

Francois said he saw other boats pass by and tried to flag them down, even lighting a fire on his vessel, but they did not see him. Francois bailed water to keep from sinking.  

"The final days, about the 15th of January, I saw a plane. I had a mirror. I was making some signals," he said, describing how he angled the glass to catch the glare of the sun and draw attention.  

"They passed over the boat twice so I realized they saw me," he continued. "I am grateful for being alive today because of them."  

He was working to repair a sailboat off a harbor on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles in December last year when the weather turned foul and he was swept out to sea, the Navy said.Francois tried to make calls on his cell phone, but he ran out of signal.


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