Heinz gives boat to sailor who survived on ketchup while lost at sea
Heinz is discussing arrangements with the man who survived for 24 days while stranded at sea on its most famous condiment to buy him a new boat.
Heinz, a US ketchup manufacturer, plans to give the sailor who survived on its signature condiment while stranded at sea for a month a new boat.
The company made contact with the rescued sailor, Elvis François, about buying him a new sailboat after launching a social media campaign with the hashtag #FindtheKetchupBoatGuy which immediately went viral. François abandoned his old boat when he was finally rescued.
“We received thousands of likes, shares, and messages of kindness in our search to find Elvis François,” a statement on Heinz’s Instagram page said on Monday. “It was an incredible group effort across six continents that led to the hundreds of articles and leads and our eventual contact with Elvis.”
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The hashtag reached almost five million users with more than 4,000 likes, a record for Heinz, the company said in its statement to The Guardian.
Heinz also issued another statement on Tuesday saying that they are working out the logistical details for getting him a new boat, without further elaborating. Representatives from the company met with the sailor over a zoom call, according to Emo News, a Dominican media outlet.
François said that he didn't know what to think about Heinz’s efforts to get him a new boat, but he seemed to welcome the prospect, during an interview with Emo News.
“I lost all that I had on the boat,” he said.
While discussing his survival saga that began in December, the Dominican sailor told his friends that he tried to acquire a signal to contact his friends and let them know where he was; his efforts were in vain.
He survived on a bottle of Heinz ketchup, garlic pounder, cubes of Maggi brand of soup, and rainwater which he used to collect with a cloth. François also scrawled the word "help" on the boat in English.
Francois spent 24 days adrift while he removed water from the boat to stay afloat. He even attempted to start a fire in order to show a distress signal.
He eventually used a mirror to flag down a passing plane, whose pilot noticed him. After that, a container ship came to his rescue. He was then given the required medical attention.
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