– A castaway survives 24 days on a bottle of ketchup
A man who washed up in the Caribbean Sea survived on ketchup for 24 days before being rescued off Colombian waters, the country’s maritime commission said.
“I had nothing to eat, a bottle of ketchup, garlic powder and maggi (bouillon cubes). I mixed everything with water to survive for about 24 days,” Elvis Francois, a 47-year-old Dominican, said in a video released by the Colombian Navy.
The survivor had written the word “help” on the hull of his boat, which he was found on the northern side of La Guajira, about 120 nautical miles (about 220 km) northwest of Puerto Bolivar. “On January 15, I saw a plane passing by. I had a mirror and I started sending signals, with the reflection of the sun, “When I saw it pass twice, I understood that they saw me,” he explains. The Colombian navy, backed by a merchant ship, rushed to rescue him.
In December, the Dominica resident was repairing a sailboat in front of a harbor on the island of Saint-Martin, in the northeast of the West Indies, when he was “swept overboard” by bad weather, according to a statement. From Navy. “Without any knowledge of navigation, he became lost and disoriented at sea, and his efforts to maneuver the ship and the equipment on board were futile”, adds the same source.
Several times, he tried to make calls, but in vain, due to lack of network. “For 24 days I couldn’t do anything except sit outside the land (…) and wait, there was no one to talk to, I didn’t know what to do or where I was. It was hard, sometimes I lost hope, I thought about my family,” he said. He was handed over to immigration services to arrange his return to Dominica.