Heinz Makes Call to the Public - Company Is Hunting for Lone Sailor Who Was Lost at Sea
In a rare occurrence for 2023, a man may be wholly disinterested in “going viral” — despite the best efforts of condiment conglomerate Heinz to thrust him into the spotlight.
According to CNN, sailor Elvis Francois ended up lost at sea in January, surviving primarily off ketchup.
In addition to the beloved tomato-based dipping sauce, Francois had access to garlic powder and bouillon cubes, the latter of which he would mix with water.
Francois had to live off that scrumptious concoction while being lost at sea for 24 days.
The 47-year old sailor, who hails from the tiny island nation of Dominica, was eventually saved when a plane spotted his defunct boat with “help” engraved into the hull, allowing Colombian authorities to rescue him.
It’s a story that’s as harrowing as it is impressive, so it’s of little surprise that Heinz wanted to reach out with an incredible random act of kindness — and surely, the free publicity doesn’t hurt.
Heinz, founded in 1869 in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, first began the search a tad more discretely, reaching out to the government of Dominica, as well as the Colombian navy that rescued Francois.
Apparently, those attempts were fruitless. So now?
In a statement shared to CNN, Heinz is now “asking the general public to try and help with the hunt.”
To do that, and since this is very much the age of social media, Heinz coined the #FindTheKetchupBoatGuy hashtag on social media.
View this post on Instagram
“To whoever finds this message,” Heinz began on Instagram, playing off the message in a (ketchup) bottle imagery attached to the post.
“We need your help tracking down an amazing man with an amazing story,” the post continued. “You may remember Elvis Francois as the brave sailor who survived on nothing but ketchup and spices while adrift at sea for 24 days.
“Well, Heinz wants to celebrate his safe return home and help him buy a new boat… but we can’t seem to find him.
“So we’re setting this message adrift into the sea of the internet, because if anyone can help us find him, it’s you. If you or anyone you know can help us get in contact with Elvis Francois, please drop us a DM.”
That aforementioned random act of kindness? It’s a brand new, state-of-the-art boat. It’s an impressive gesture.
“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 told CNN.
Heinz launches search for “Ketchup boat guy” https://t.co/ttKhmQjSco pic.twitter.com/23V3cCbQcK
— CNN (@CNN) February 26, 2023
As of this writing, Heinz still does not appear to have connected with Francois.
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