Dominican news outlet finds ‘ketchup boat guy’ who survived on Heinz Ketchup while at sea

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Recently, we told you about the sailor who survived on Heinz Ketchup while he was stranded at sea for 24 days.

The story has inspired Heinz to find the man and get him a new boat.

Well, now it appears he has been found!

The Dominican news outlet “Emo News” posted an interview with Elvis Francois saying they tracked him down on the island of Dominica.

RELATED: Heinz trying to find ‘ketchup boat guy’ who survived lost at sea for 24 days

In January, Francois was repairing his boat when he was swept out to sea.

For more than three weeks, he drifted deeper into the sea where he was found by a Colombian Navy patrol plane and was rescued.

His story went international and the part about surviving on Heinz Ketchup caught everyone’s attention.

Kraft-Heinz launched a campaign to find him and get him a new boa.

In Emo News’ Facebook post about their interview, Heinz commented: “We’ve hopped into your DMs, let’s get Elvis his boat!”

Colombian Navy rescues sailor adrift in Caribbean for 24 days

Colombia Shipwrecked Sailor

Colombia Shipwrecked Sailor

The Colombian Navy rescued a man from Dominica who says he survived 24 days adrift in the Caribbean on a sailing boat by eating ketchup, garlic powder and seasoning cubes.


Elvis Francois, 47, had scrawled the word “help” in English on the boat’s hull, which officials said was key to his rescue.

The boat in which Mr Francois was adrift was spotted from the air 120 nautical miles north west of La Guajira peninsula and then escorted to the port city of Cartagena with the help of a passing container ship, the Colombian Navy said in a statement.

There was nothing else to do but sit and wait

Elvis Francois

Mr Francois told Colombian authorities that his ordeal began in December when currents swept the boat out to sea while he was making repairs off the island of St Martin in the Netherlands Antilles, where he lives.

“I called my friends, they tried to contact me, but I lost the signal. There was nothing else to do but sit and wait,” Mr Francois recalled in a video released by the Navy.

He said he subsisted on a bottle of ketchup, garlic powder and seasoning cubes.

Mr Francois said he had to constantly remove water from the boat to prevent it from sinking. He also tried to light a fire to send a distress signal without success.

Finally, a plane passed by and he signalled with a mirror. He said the Navy told him that he was spotted when the plane passed again.

“At some point I lost hope and thought about my family, but I thank the coast guard. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be telling the story,” Mr Francois said.

The Navy said Francois was in good health when he was rescued. After receiving a medical check on shore, he was handed over to immigration authorities for his return home to Dominica.

Heinz wants to buy ‘ketchup boat guy’ a new vessel, if it can find him

Heinz recently launched an unlikely side hustle: an international man hunt. The ketchup brand is searching the world for the man who survived for 24 days at sea with only a bottle of ketchup and some packaged seasonings so that it can buy him a new boat.


February 22, 2023 at 5:25 p.m. EST

(Stefani Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

Ketchup brand Heinz typically sticks to the business of producing the tomato-y condiment, but recently it launched an unlikely side hustle: an international man hunt. Heinz is trying to find the man from Dominica who survived 24 days at sea with little more than a bottle of ketchup to sustain him. The company wants to locate the man, identified in news reports as Elvis Francois, so that it can buy him a new boat.

So far, it hasn’t been able to do so, despite sharing pleas on social media bearing the hashtag #FindTheKetchupBoatGuy and taking other measures. In an Instagram post, Heinz said that in its investigation, it had inquired with the Colombian navy, which helped rescue Francois last month, and the government of Dominica, as well as “several Elvis impersonators” (a company representative confirmed that the people were posing as Elvis Francois, not Elvis Presley).

Francois’s story was harrowingly cinematic: He had been repairing his boat near the island of Saint Martin, where he lives, in December when currents pulled the vessel out into the Caribbean Sea. He tried to call for help but had no signal, he said in news reports, and so he spent 24 days waiting for rescue. He survived on ketchup, garlic powder and Maggi seasoning cubes, according to officials, along with fresh rainwater he collected.

“At some point I lost hope and thought about my family, but I thank the coast guard,” he said in a video released by the Colombian navy. “If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be telling the story.”

Francois was finally discovered by a plane passing overhead who saw the word “help” he had written across the hull of his boat, according to reports, and he was picked up by a container ship.

Without knowing for sure that it was Heinz brand ketchup that helped keep Francois alive (though they assumed it was, given Heinz’s market dominance), the company decided to give him a “state of the art boat,” a Heinz representative said in the email, which might have been a neat publicity stunt/kind gesture on its own. But the plan to offer the man “a new boat equipped with full navigational technology to avoid another disaster in the future” hit a snag when he couldn’t be found. And so Heinz took to social media, enlisting the public in the widening mission.

“We’re setting this message adrift into the sea of the internet, because if anyone can help us find him, it’s you,” read an Instagram post seeking leads. “If you or anyone you know can help us get in contact with Elvis Francois, please drop us a DM.”

Even after multiple posts, Francois remains under the radar. Heinz wants to take the search international and plans on enlisting “other Heinz markets around the world” to help the company track him down. They’ve received some wacky tips — or as the company’s representative wrote, “we’ve heard from some very interesting folks.” A group of internet sleuths is on the case, and the company also is hoping to hear back from the prime minister of Colombia. “We’re hoping to spread the word far and wide so Heinz can finally get in touch with Elvis,” the representative said in the email.

(For the full article click on the headline link to the Washington Post )

Heinz Ketchup Has found Elvis In Dominica

(Here is a news link to a video

Hopefully Heinz Ketchup will take good care of Elvis and this new boat will come true. Cruisers throughout the Caribbean know Elvis and have been trying to help. Thank you to all.