Lost at sea for 24 days, man survives on ketchup, bouillon cubes

Lost at sea for 24 days, man survives on ketchup, bouillon cubes

Dominican national used mirror to reflect sun to catch attention of passing plane

By Dilara Hamit

ANKARA (AA) - A Dominican man who was lost at sea for almost one month has survived, in part by consuming ketchup, garlic powder and bouillon cubes, according to officials.

Elvis Francois, 47, was rescued Jan. 15 after he was stranded for 24 days, according to the Colombian navy on Thursday.

Francois said in a video by the Colombian army that he did not have food and he mixed ketchup, garlic powder and bouillon cubes that were on the boat, with water.

He was spared death and eating more ketchup when he used a mirror to reflect the sun and attract the attention of a passing plane.

Francois was fixing a sailboat last December off the Caribbean Island of St. Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles when the weather turned rough and swept him out to sea.

He told Colombian officials that he called friends and that they tried to contact him but there was no signal. "There was nothing else to do but sit and wait," he said.

A plane spotted him when he used the mirror as a signal and scribbled "help" on the boat's hull. He was picked up by a passing container ship about 120 nautical miles northwest of the Colombian port city of Cartagena.

"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," said Francois.

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