Castaway Dominican survives 24 days thanks to bottle of ketchup

Of ketchup, garlic, bouillon cubes. Thanks to these three condiments, Elvis François, shipwrecked in the Caribbeanwas able to feed for twenty-four days, before being rescued by the navy Colombian. “I had nothing to eat, just a bottle of ketchup, garlic powder and Maggi [cubes de bouillon]. I mixed everything with water to survive for about 24 days,” said this Dominican 47, in a video released by the Colombian Navy.

The survivor had written the word “help” (help in English) 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.

Bad weather conditions

“On January 15, I saw a airplane. I had a mirror and I started to send signals” with the reflection of the sun, “when I saw it pass twice, I understood that they had seen me”, explains the forties. The Colombian Navy quickly came to rescue him with the support of a merchant ship.

In December, while this resident of Dominica was repairing a sailboat opposite a port in Saint-Martinan island in the northeast Antilles, it was “washed out to sea” due to poor conditions weatheraccording to a Navy statement.

“Without any knowledge of navigation, he was lost and disoriented at sea, his efforts to maneuver the ship and the equipment on board were useless”, adds the same source.

Several times, he tried to make calls, but in vain, for lack of network. “I couldn’t do anything but sit and wait (…) 24 days away from the earth, without anyone to talk to, without knowing what to do, or where I was. It was hard, at times I lost hope, I thought of my family,” said the survivor.

Now, Elvis François is in the hands of the services immigration so that they organize his return to Dominica.

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