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Searching For The Ketchup Boat Guy

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

Last month, a miracle took place in the Caribbean Sea. A man from Dominica named Elvis Francois was rescued after being lost at sea for nearly a month and surviving on ketchup.

The 47-year-old had been working on his boat in St. Maarten when the weather turned for the worse and was blown out to sea. Since he couldn't get back to shore, he realized all he could do was wait and make do with what he had at hand. “I had no food, just a bottle of ketchup that was on the boat, garlic powder and Maggi [soup],” he told CBS at the time. "So, I mixed it up with some water so I had this to survive for 24 days in the sea."

Credit: Heinz
Heinz tomato ketchup bottle

After hearing his surviving-on-ketchup story, Heinz has sensed that a fabulous bit of publicity was on the cards and is now looking for him. The company even wants to buy him a new boat. It's been several days now and Elvis Francois remains elusive.

So, Heinz has turned to a channel that has found elusive people before: social media. Heinz posted a “message in a bottle” on Instagram, pleading for help to find the so-called “ketchup boat guy.” “We need your help tracking down an amazing man with an amazing story,” the Heinz team wrote, retelling Francois' feat. “Well, Heinz wants to celebrate his safe return home and help him buy a new boat… but we can’t seem to find him.”

As of a week after the original message asking the internet for help was published, the search has continued. Heinz posted two more images since their first plea; one explaining that Francois could be in any of Dominica's 18 towns and 53 villages, and another clarifying that they've reached out to the government of Dominica and the Colombian Navy, who rescued him. They’ve been met with several impersonators, but no Francois. However, Heinz isn’t giving up. “We know he’s still out there,” the company asserts.

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