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47-year-old man spends 20 days at sea without food. How did he survive?

Muhammad Bham | mbham@radioislam.com
26 January 2023 | 14:30 PM CAT
2 min read

Photo Credit: The Daily Telegraph

Elvis Francois, 47, of Dominica, survived more than 20 days lost at sea by consuming tomato sauce and other seasonings.

Francois was repairing his boat near St Martin in December when the currents propelled it into the sea. Due to losing his signal, he could not contact his family.

One of the challenges Francois faced was trying to keep water out of his boat to prevent it from sinking. He also had no food aboard the vessel.

‘It’s just a bottle of tomato sauce on the boat. Garlic powder and Maggi,’ Francois said. ‘So, I mixed it up with some water.’

After nearly a month of trying to stay alive, the Colombian Navy was able to locate Francois by air, 222 km northwest of La Guajira, in the northeast part of Colombia, when they saw a “help” message written on his boat.

Francois was picked up by a ship and transported to Cartagena for medical treatment. Officials said he was healthy, though he did lose some weight.

So how did he survive with just tomato sauce?

Speaking to Radio Islam, Ronald Abvajee advocates inspiration for well-being; the CEO of Healthy Living Consulting (HLC), the force behind the MyHealth360 brand, Winner of the 2020 Future of HR Award, says it’s not the tomato sauce itself that pulled him through the 20 days, but rather the psychological effect that he is putting something into his body.

Normally the maximum time a person can survive without food and drink is about a week, but with a little water and no food, survival could extend to two to three months.

The person’s mindset is also very important in this type of situation. The battle of the mind is the first battle that a person needs to work on, the body will follow what the mind says, and the mind will follow what the spirit, deen or faith (Our trust in Allah) says.

The power of the mind can pull us through tough times and allows us to celebrate great times, and also allows us to learn new habits, behaviours and trends and take our bodies to points we would never think of reaching.

Listen to the interview with Mufti Moosagie on Your World Today.


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