A sailor who was recently rescued after being lost at sea for 24 days says he survived on only ketchup and seasonings.
On Thursday (January 19), the Colombian navy announced that Elvis Francois had been found 120 nautical miles away from Colombia's Puerto Bolívar after a plane spotted the word "help" engraved on his sailboat, per the Associated Press.
Francois, a 47-year-old Dominica native, was repairing his boat near the island of St. Martin last month when rough weather conditions pulled him out to sea. He didn't have "any kind of knowledge in navigation," which led him to become lost at sea, the Colombian navy said.
"Twenty-four days — no land, nobody to talk to, don't know what to do, don't know where you are — it was rough," Francois said in a video released by the navy. "At a certain time, I lose hope. I think about my family."
Francois said he tried to contact friends and coworkers, but he lost service as he drifted into the sea. To survive, the 47-year-old ate what he could find on the ship — ketchup and seasoning.
"I had no food. It was just a bottle of ketchup that was on the boat, garlic powder, and Maggi," Francois said. "So I mixed it up with some water."
The sailor also collected drank rainwater that he collected with a cloth, Cmdr. Carlos Urbano Montes told the Associated Press. Francois had lost weight but was found in good health after the rescue. He underwent a medical check and was sent to immigration authorities, who intend to return him to his home country,