A man from Dominica has been rescued by the Colombian navy after surviving 24 days adrift on a boat in the Caribbean.
Elvis François, 47, had written “help” in English on the boat’s hull, which, according to officials, was crucial to his rescue.
The sailboat was found from the air 120 nautical miles north-west of the Guajira peninsula, and François was transported to Cartagena by a passing container ship, according to a statement released by the Colombian navy on Wednesday.
François told Colombian officials that his adventure began in December, when currents drove his sailboat out to sea as he made repairs off the island of St. Martin in the Netherlands Antilles, where he lives.
He survived by eating ketchup, garlic powder, and Maggi cubes, and collecting rainwater with a cloth.
Finally, a plane flew past, and he used a mirror to signal it. According to the navy, he was spotted as the plane passed again.
The navy reported that Francois got a medical examination on land before being turned over to Dominican immigration authorities for his return home.