The Heinz ketchup company has been on an international manhunt to track down Elvis Francois – the sailor who claims he survived off of ketchup while stranded at sea for 24 days – to give the castaway a special gift.
In December, Francois was repairing his boat in Saint Martin when his vessel drifted out to sea. Unable to navigate his way back, he was stuck at sea until a plane found his boat with the word “help” engraved on the hull off the coast of Colombia in January, CNN reported at the time.
Once Francois was brought back to shore, he told authorities he weathered the high seas by living off of ketchup and garlic powder.
Francois’s story garnered international attention, and the Heinz company has been looking to get in touch with the sailor since he was rescued. After getting no leads from authorities, the brand asked its followers to keep an eye out with the hashtag #findtheketchupboatguy.
“We’re also asking for any credible leads to contact Elvis so we can help cover a new boat equipped with full navigational technology to avoid another disaster in the future,” Heinz said in an email to CNN.
Emo News, a Dominican media outlet, finally tracked down Francois and posted a Facebook Live interview with the 47-year-old on February 25. A Heinz representative was quick to find the interview and commented: “We’ve hopped into your DMs – let’s get Elvis his boat!”
Since then, Francois told Insider that he finally connected with Heinz and said the brand is working on getting him a new boat.
A representative from Heinz confirmed to the outlet that it is in the process of “working through the logistics” of gifting Francois his own vessel.
Francois told Insider he is “quite excited” adding, “depending on the size of the boat I could use the boat to do fishing or tours of the Caribbean.”