After asking for the public’s help in locating Elvis Francois, a sailor who survived weeks lost at sea to ketchup and seasonings, ketchup giant Heinz has finally tracked him down – and plans to give him a new boat .
On February 14, the company posted a plea for help on social media, saying it was having trouble getting in touch with Francois.
The Dominica-born sailor made headlines after spending 24 days adrift in the Caribbean Sea in January. After being rescued by the Colombian Navy, Francois, 47, told authorities he survived on a bottle of ketchup, garlic powder and Maggi bouillon cubes, which he mixed with salt. ‘water.
Heinz told CNN on Monday that they found Francois with the help of local journalists in Dominica working for the EmoNews publication. The company previously said it hoped to give him “a new state-of-the-art boat” to celebrate his safe return.
“We were able to connect with him and discuss how best to help him and his family,” a rep for Heinz told CNN. “We (Heinz) and Elvis are currently working on the logistical details to get him his new boat.”
The company highlighted the pivotal role played by social media in helping to locate the sailor.
“Anyone who shared, liked or commented on the brand message helped broaden the reach and played an important role in finding Elvis,” Heinz said.
François was repairing his boat off the island of Saint Martin in December when his boat was pulled out to sea. He told Colombian authorities that he did not have the navigation knowledge to return to shore and that he had spent 24 days lost at sea. He was rescued after a plane spotted his sailboat with “help” etched into the hull, according to Colombian authorities.