Heinz Offers to Buy a New Boat for a Dominican Man Who Survived on Ketchup for 24 Days at Sea

Photo Credit: Colombian Navy press office via AP


Heinz has offered to buy a new boat for the Dominican sailor who apparently survived on ketchup, garlic powder, and seasoning cubes after becoming stranded at sea for 24 days.

Elvis Francois was eventually rescued by the Colombian navy, as previously reported by How Africa. Following his rescue, Francois told Colombian police that he was repairing his yacht near the island of St. Martin in December when sweeping currents stranded him in the Caribbean sea. His boat was abandoned after he was rescued.

Heinz offered to buy a new boat for him after hearing his story and how he managed to live, according to CBS News. Yet, the company has failed to make touch with him. Heinz pleaded for help finding Francois in an Instagram post last week.

“To whoever finds this message, we need your help tracking down an amazing man with an amazing story. You may remember Elvis Francois as the brave sailor who survived on nothing but ketchup and spices while adrift at sea for 24 days. Well, Heinz wants to celebrate his safe return home and help him buy a new boat…but we can’t seem to find him,” the company wrote in the post.

Following his rescue, officials stated that Francois scribbling “help” in English on the hull of the boat was critical in locating him. Francois’ sailboat was ultimately spotted 120 nautical miles northwest of the La Guajira peninsula by an aircraft. The Colombian navy said in a statement that a container ship passing by picked up Francois and carried him to the port city of Cartagena.

“I called my friends, they tried to contact me, but I lost the signal. There was nothing else to do but sit and wait,” Francois, who resides in St. Martin, said in reference to when he got lost at sea.

Heinz stated that they have subsequently contacted the Dominican authorities and the Colombian navy in an attempt to locate him. “We’re casting this message into the internet’s depths because if anyone can help us find him, it’s you,” the company said in an Instagram post. “If you or anybody you know can assist us in getting in touch with Elvis Francois, please send us a Message.”

A Heinz spokeswoman also told CBS News that the yacht they plan to give to Francois is “state-of-the-art” and “fresh.” The boat will also be “fitted with full navigational technology to avoid another accident in the future,” according to the business.



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