Feb. 24/2023: Elvis Francois, originally from the island of Dominica, was making repairs to his boat at St. Maarten back in December, when he somehow got swept out to sea. Twenty-four days later, in late January, after drifting across much of the Caribbean basin, he was rescued about 120 miles off the coast of Colombia, after he succeeded in signaling a passing plane with a mirror. To survive all that time he caught rain in a cloth and ate the only food he had onboard: ketchup, garlic powder, and Maggi bouillon cubes.
That’s Elvis in the photo up top, getting checked out by the Colombian navy after his ordeal. He lost some weight, but otherwise was in pretty good shape.
But now comes the interesting part… ten days ago the ketchup people at Heinz announced to the world via their Instagram account that they wanted to track Elvis down, so they could give him a new boat to replace the one he abandoned when rescued.
I find nothing in any report I’ve read that identifies the ketchup Elvis survived on as having been Heinz ketchup. But I guess the marketing guys aren’t worrying about that. Studying the press online, it seems also that the Heinz story got a lot more traction than the original rescue story.
And it was a huge question: where’s Elvis???
No one seemed to know.
Turns out he’s on Dominica, in Anse de Mai, a small village on the north coast, where he was unearthed by a local news site, EmoNews, on Wednesday.
Heinz responded immediately: “Let’s get Elvis his boat!”
No word yet on what it will be.
Meanwhile, I bet the marketing mavens at Maggi are dope-slapping themselves, pining over all the free publicity they missed out on.