01/19/2023 2:07 pm (act. 01/19/2023 02:07 pm)
A shipwrecked man from the island state of Dominica survived 24 days in the Caribbean Sea with just a bottle of ketchup, some garlic powder and a few cubes of soup until he was rescued off the coast of Colombia. He stretched everything with water, there was nothing left, said Elvis François in a video published by the Colombian Navy. The 47-year-old was washed out to sea while repairing a sailboat in December.
In front of a port on the island of Saint-Martin, the man was busy repairing the boat when it was suddenly taken out to sea due to bad weather, the navy said. “With no navigation skills, he was lost and disoriented. All efforts to maneuver the ship were in vain.” With no mobile network, your attempts to call were also in vain.
“I had no choice but to wait (…) 24 days with no one to talk to, not knowing where I was,” said François. Eventually, he comes up with the idea of writing the word “help” on his boat. “Then on January 15th I saw a plane and started sending signals using the sun and a mirror,” he continued. When the plane passed him a second time, he knew the occupants would have seen him.
The Colombian Navy was finally able to save François with the support of a merchant ship. Her odyssey ended some 220 kilometers southwest of the Colombian port of Puerto Bolivar. Colombian immigration authorities now want to take care of his speedy return to his home country of Dominica.