Thanks to USA Today for this:
Heinz’s search for the man who survived nearly a month at sea by eating nothing but ketchup and seasonings is over.
The ketchup maker announced Monday it located Elvis Francois in his native Dominica after sharing its mission to buy him a new boat on social media and asking for help to #FindTheKetchupBoatGuy.
“We received thousands of likes, shares, and messages of kindness in our search to find Elvis Francois,” Heinz said in an Instagram post. “It was an incredible group effort across six continents that led to the hundreds of articles and leads and our eventual contact with Elvis.”
Heinz thanked local reporters at the Dominican news outlet EmoNews for finally connecting it with Francois. The company said it’s “working out the logistical details of gifting him his new boat.”
EmoNews confirmed in a Facebook post that Heinz representatives met with Francois via Zoom on Friday.
The company said its Instagram post reached 4.8 million people and garnered more than 4,000 likes – a record for the brand.
“Anyone who shared, liked or commented on the brand’s post helped broaden the reach and played an important part in finding Elvis… and Heinz wants to thank everyone who helped,” Heinz said in an email.
Adrift in the Caribbean
Francois made headlines earlier this year when the Colombian navy rescued him after being lost at sea in the Caribbean for 24 days, surviving on ketchup, garlic powder and Maggi seasoning cubes.
He was repairing his boat near the island of St. Martin, where he lives, in December when the currents swept his boat out to sea. His attempts to maneuver the boat were unsuccessful and he tried to call for help but had no signal.
Francois wrote the word “HELP” across the boat’s hull, which eventually aided in his rescue, Colombian authorities said.