After eating ketchup and seasoning, a sailor survived 24 consecutive days at sea.
Dominica’s citizen Elvis Francois was working on his boat in St. Maarten during December. Francois said that it was extremely windy and that his sailboat was swept to the sea.
Francois said that he tried returning to port, but lost time as it took him quite a while to mount the sail and fix it. Francois spoke in a video released by the Colombian navy.
“I called my friends and coworkers. They tried to reach me but lost contact. ”
The 47-year-old sailor didn’t have any food on his boat except for a bottle of ketchup, garlic powder, and Maggi seasoning. Francois said he would mix up the limited ingredients with water as sustenance while he floated around the Caribbean Sea.
“So, I mixed it up with some water. So I had this to survive for 24 days in the sea,” he explained.
Francois collected rainwater from storms at sea and used a cloth to cover it. Francois then wrote “HELP!” Francois wrote the word “HELP!” on the wooden hull of his boat.
The small sailboat had been lost for over three weeks at sea. Francois was eventually spotted by an aircraft about 120 miles off the Guajira peninsula in northern Colombia. He was then pushed by the turbulent waters 700 miles southwest of his original destination of St. Maarten.
The Colombian navy notified a vessel in the vicinity of the stranded seamen. Francois, who was in good health, was brought aboard the CMA CGM Voltario for medical attention.
Francois said that it took him 24 days to find land, and no one to talk to. It was hard for Francois to know where or what to do.
Francois admitted that he had lost his faith after 24 days at sea. Francois found his hope in one thing.
“At a certain time, I lose hope. I think about my family,” Francois said in the video.
Francois will be handed over to immigration authorities and taken back home.