By Le Figaro with AFP
Posted 6 hours ago, just updated
The survivor survived by mixing “a bottle of ketchup, garlic powder, and Maggi bouillon cubes” with water. SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP
A man shipwrecked in the Caribbean survived 24 days on ketchup alone before being rescued in Colombian waters, the country’s naval authority said. “I had nothing to eat, just a bottle of ketchup, garlic powder and maggi (stock cubes). I mixed everything with water to survive about 24 days,” said Elvis Francois, a 47-year-old Dominican, in a video released by the Colombian Navy.
The survivor had the word “Help” written on the hull of his sailboat, on which he was found 120 nautical miles (about 220 km) northwest of Puerto Bolivar in the northern department of La Guajira. “On January 15, I saw a plane fly by. I had a mirror and started sending signals” with the reflection of the sun, “when I saw them pass twice, I understood that they had seen me,” he explains. The Colombian Navy quickly came to him with the support of a rescue merchant ship.
“Without navigation skills”
In December, while repairing a sailboat off a port in Saint-Martin, an island in the northeast West Indies, this Dominican resident was “carried out to sea” due to poor weather conditions, according to a statement. from the Navy. “With no navigational skills, he was lost and disoriented at sea, his efforts to maneuver the ship and onboard equipment were useless,” adds the same source.
He tried several times to make a call, but to no avail due to the lack of a network. “There was nothing I could do but sit and wait (…) 24 days out of the country with nobody to talk to, no idea what to do or where I was. It was hard, sometimes I lost hope, I thought about my family,” he said. He was turned over to immigration officials to arrange for his return to Dominica.
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