The story of the castaway who survived 24 days adrift thanks to a bottle of ketchup, garlic powder and rainwater
Dominican Elvis Francois found the dressing on the sailboat he was on, along with garlic powder and a few bouillon cubes
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In this photo provided by the Colombian Navy press office, shipwrecked Elvis Francois is cared for by members of the Colombian Navy aboard the merchant ship CMA CGM Voltario in the port of Cartagena, Colombia (Colombian Navy Press Office via AP)
The Dominican Elvis Francois He claims he survived 24 days adrift at sea eating a bottle of ketchup that he found on the sailboat he was on, garlic powder and a few bouillon cubes.
After being rescued by the Colombian Navy, Francois, 47, recounted that his journey began in December when he was working to repair the sailboat on the San Martín de the Netherlands Antilles, Where he lives. She was fixing the engine and sail at the dock when the sailboat was swept away by the force of the sea.
She tried to return to port but lost control because it took her a while to assemble the watch and fix it. “I called my friends, they tried to contact me, but I lost the signal. There was nothing else to do but sit and wait, but I had no food,” Francois recalled in a video released by the Navy.
Then he found a bottle of ketchup and bouillon cubes with which he fed. Francois was found in good health although he told the Navy that he lost weight and to survive collected a little rainwater in cloth that was within reach, he told the news agency AP on Thursday Commander of the Caribbean Coast Guard Group, Captain Carlos Urbano Montes.
While it was adrift, it had to constantly draw water from the sailboat to prevent it from sinking and tried to light fire to send a signal for help, but was unsuccessful.
After days without seeing land, without knowing what to do or where he was, he saw a plane go by and signaled with a mirror. He knew he was detected when the plane returned to pass.
“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,” he said after being rescued
The sailboat he was on was located from the air by a Panamanian plane, according to the Coast Guard commander, when it was 120 nautical miles northwest of La Guajira, in the extreme north of Colombia, and later aided by sea with the help of a merchant ship that diverted its route at the notice of the Colombian Navy.
“His efforts to maneuver the vessel and the equipment on board did not yield results, which led him, in a desperate action, to mark the word 'help' (help) along the hull,” the Navy detailed in a statement.
After its rescue, the sailboat was abandoned at sea due to “ocean-atmospheric conditions,” explained the Coast Guard commander. Francois was transferred to the Port of Cartagena, in the Caribbean, where he received medical attention.
The Navy made Francois available to the immigration authorities so that he could be returned to his country of origin.
(With reporting from AP)