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Lost at sea and saved by a ketchup bottle
A 47-year-old man, Elvis Francois, was adrift on the Caribbean Sea for 24 days, and for food/survival, he relied on a bottle of ketchup.

François was found 120 nautical miles northwest of Puerto Bolívar, on the Colombian side, thanks to the word “help” that he had engraved on the hull of his sailboat. It was an airplane pilot who saw the word “help”, and it was from this that he was rescued.

“I had no food. There was only a bottle of ketchup that was on the boat, garlic powder and Maggi (bouillon cubes), so I mixed it with water!” said Elvis Francois.

The reason he got out at sea was because he was doing repairs on the boat when it was suddenly washed away by bad weather. Lacking navigational skills, he was unable to return to shore.

“Twenty-four days – no land, no one to talk to. You don’t know what to do, you don’t know where you are. It was tough. At some point, I lose hope. I think about my family,” added Elvis François.

Francois received the necessary medical care in the port city of Cartagena, and then was handed over to the immigration authorities to return home.

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