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Mummified German sailor found adrift in Pacific Ocean

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Fishermen seen aboard the yacht found drifting in the Pacific ocean. Photo: Barobo police
11:24 CET+01:00
A body found in a yacht drifting through the Pacific ocean belonged to a German sailor, Filipino police report.

Police in Barobo district wrote on Facebook on Saturday that documents found aboard the boat revealed the body was German citizen Manfred Fritz Bajorat.

His remains, partially preserved by the salt water and sea air, were found seated at the vessel's writing desk next to the radio gear. Bajorat's head was resting on his arm as if he were taking a short nap.

The mummified remains of Manfred Bajorat pictured aboard his yacht. Photo: Barobo police

"The way he's sitting at the table, it's likely that he had a heart attack in the best case," forensics expert Dr. Mark Benecke told Bild, "but that's just speculation."

Meanwhile, police told the tabloid that while no wallet was found on the yacht, the fact that other valuables were still on the boat pointed away from a high-seas robbery.

"There is no evidence of a second person having been on board," a police spokeswoman said. "No weapons were found either".

"It's a riddle for us," Barabo deputy police chief Mark Navales told Bild.

Boat drifting for months?

Fishermen discovered the boat drifting half-submerged in the sea on February 25th during a routine fishing trip off the east coast of Mindanao, the second-largest island in the Philippines. They found the body when they boarded to investigate.

Bild reported on Monday that Bajorat, 59, was from Twistende, North Rhine-Westphalia, but was a seasoned traveller.

Photos found aboard the boat show him with family at Paris landmarks and in Luxembourg.

A photo of Manfred Bajorat found aboard his yacht. Photo: Barobo police

Story continues below…

Bajorat set off on his first round-the-world sailing trip with his wife in 2008 – but she died aged just 53 after they had crossed the Atlantic and reached Martinique.

It was from there that he set off alone on a fresh voyage in October - 20,000 kilometres from where his new ship, "Sayo", was found drifting by the Filipino fishermen 62 kilometres from the coast.

Local authorities told Bild that an autopsy would be completed by the end of the week.

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