WORLD NEWS

Ketchup helped him survive weeks lost at sea. Now Heinz wants to buy him a new boat

Feb 25, 2023, 1:13 PM

Elvis Francois receives a medical checkup after being rescued in Cartagena, Colombia, in January. H...

Elvis Francois receives a medical checkup after being rescued in Cartagena, Colombia, in January. Heinz is asking the public to help contact him so they can buy him a new boat in celebration of his successful rescue. (Colombian Navy Press Office/AP/CNN)

(Colombian Navy Press Office/AP/CNN)

(CNN) — The sailor who spent weeks lost at sea in January, surviving largely off of ketchup, could have a new, state-of-the-art boat coming to him.

And the handsome gift would be thanks to Ketchup giant Heinz, which is trying to locate Elvis Francois.

The company posted a callout to social media on February 14th, hoping to track down the elusive Dominica sailor. According to Heinz’s social media, they’ve already reached out to the government of Dominica, the island nation where Francois is from, as well as the Colombian navy, which rescued him northwest of Colombia’s Puerto Bolívar.

 

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A post shared by Heinz (@heinz)

But so far, none of the attempts to find Francois have panned out, says Heinz.

So the ketchup retailer is now “asking the general public to try and help with the hunt,” according to a statement shared with CNN over email.

“We’re also asking for any credible leads to contact Elvis so we can help cover a new boat equipped with full navigational technology to avoid another disaster in the future,” added the company.

Heinz also suggested fans use the hashtag #FindTheKetchupBoatGuy to amplify their search.

Francois, 47, was repairing his boat near the Dutch part of the island of Saint Martin in December when his boat was pulled out to sea. He told Colombian authorities that he lacked the navigational knowledge to return to shore and spent 24 days at sea. He survived off a bottle of ketchup, garlic powder, and Maggi stock cubes, which he mixed with water.

He was rescued after a plane spotted his sailboat with “help” engraved into the hull, according to Colombian authorities.


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Ketchup helped him survive weeks lost at sea. Now Heinz wants to buy him a new boat