Man lost at sea for 24 days survives on ketchup and stock cubes

A man lost at sea for more than three weeks survived by eating the only "food" he had with him: ketchup, seasonings, and soup stock cubes.

The 47-year-old Dominican man, Elvis Francois, had been fixing his boat in St. Maarten, when a change in weather "pulled his boat out to sea," according to CNN.

Without much "navigational knowledge," he tried calling for help but soon became lost. He engraved the word HELP on the hull of his boat, and then spent 24 days surviving on a concoction of the stock cubes mixed with ketchup, garlic powder, and water, before he was finally spotted and rescued by the Colombian Navy on Wednesday, 120 nautical miles off the coast of Colombia. (See video, tweeted by Armada de Colombia, below.)

"Twenty four days — no land, nobody to talk to. Don't know what to do, don't know where you are," he said. "It was rough."

From CBS News:

"I tried to [go] back to port, but I lost track because it took me a while to mount the sail and fix the sail," Francois said in a video released by the Navy. "…I call my friends, my coworkers. They tried to contact me, but they lost service. There was nothing else I could do than sit down and wait." 

That's when he decided to write out a call for help on the back of the boat.

Upon rescue, Francois was taken to the Port of Cartagena to receive medical care and begin procedures to return to Dominica, the navy said. Colombian Army Commander Captain Carlos Urano Montes said that he "was found to be in good health."

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