Mummified body found on yacht drifting off coast of Philippines

Warning - graphic image below
Manfred Fritz Bajorat: He hadn't been heard from for a year. Photo / Supplied
Manfred Fritz Bajorat: He hadn't been heard from for a year. Photo / Supplied

This is the mummified body of a German adventurer who was found dead drifting on his abandoned yacht at the weekend off the coast of southern Philippines.

Manfred Fritz Bajorat, 59, was discovered by two fishermen aboard his yacht in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Barobo town in Surigao del Sur.

His body was sitting near to the radio telephone as if he was trying one last desperate Mayday call to save himself when he died.

The mummified body of Manfred Fritz Bajorat. Photo / Supplied
The mummified body of Manfred Fritz Bajorat. Photo / Supplied

Christopher Rivas, 23, a resident of P-4 Poblacion, in Barobo, was fishing together with a friend nearly 40 miles from the coast when he spotted the yacht, painted white and with a broken sail.

The 40-foot long yacht, named SAYO, had been cruising around the world for the past 20 years.

Inside the cabin, much of which was underwater, were found photo albums apparently showing his wife, family and friends, and clothes and tins of food were strewn all around.

It is unclear how long Manfred, who has been identified thanks to paperwork on board, has been dead or what killed him - although authorities believe there was no foul play involved.

A friend told BILD that he last heard of him one year ago on Facebook for his birthday.

Dry ocean winds, hot temperatures and the salty air helped preserve his body.

Police are trying to retrace his last voyages and find the last people to speak with him.

He broke up with his wife in 2008, who had been on his travels with him, and she died two years later of cancer.

A poignant memorial written by Manfred to his wife, Claudia, are all that link him now to the world he sailed away from.

His farewell to Claudia, who died aged 53 on May 2 2010, in Le Marin on the island of Martinique, was simple. "Thirty years we're been together on the same path," it reads. "Then the power of the demons was stronger than the will to live. You're gone. May your soul find its peace. Your Manfred."

FOUND DEAD PERSON-About 4:00 in the afternoon of February 26, 2016, personnel of Barobo PS received information from...

Posted by Barobo Police Station on Friday, February 26, 2016

The words were discovered on a web forum for sailors called as a shocked world came to terms with the terrible image of the preserved mariner sitting alone in death upon his shattered yacht.

In 2009 in Mallorca he met another world sailor called Dieter who told Germany's BILD newspaper: "He was a very experienced sailor. I don't believe he would have sailed into a storm. I believe the mast broke after Manfred was already dead."

His body was taken for an autopsy in Butuan City, the yacht was towed for a police inspection into the port of Barobo.

Following the post-mortem, a spokesman from the Barobo police station told MailOnline that there is no evidence of 'foul play'.

"The doctor believes that the man died of natural causes, and there is no evidence of foul play," he said.

Police spokeswoman Goldie Lou Siega in the Philippines said: "We have no evidence of a second person aboard and no weapon was found on the yacht."

Dr Mark Benecke, a forensic criminologist in the city of Cologne, told BILD: "The way he is sitting seems to indicate that death was unexpected, perhaps from a heart attack."

Here are photos that were taken when Bajorat's boat was found. Photos of the interior of his boat as well as a photo album he had on board.

Posted by GHOST of Florida Paranormal Society on Monday, February 29, 2016

The German embassy in Manila is working with local officials to trace his family in Germany. It is believed he has a daughter called Nina who works as the captain of a freight vessel.

Manfred had crisscrossed the world's oceans in 20 years at sea, clocking up over half a million nautical miles.

He sailed the Atlantic, he sailed the Pacific, he sailed around the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, the Agean and, as a younger man, the waters of the Baltic bordering northern Germany.

Not all of it was done on his yacht: he was aboard the freighter Hyundai Renaissance on August 1 2008 when he crossed the equator en-route from Singapore to Durban, south Africa.

A certificate found aboard his shattered yacht showed he had adopted the nickname "Tiger shark" to mark the event - a milestone in the lives of all mariners.

He posted regular updates on his Facebook page of his travels on the 160,000 pound yacht.

Martinique in the Caribbean was one of the favourite places visited by himself and his wife, Claudia, the place where she was buried after she passed away in 2010.

Manfred came from the western German Ruhr region. According to German media reports, he hated that hard winters of his homeland and took to the seas to find warmer climes.

It is not yet clear what his profession was. Although there have been reports that he had not made contact with people since 2009, authorities do not believe that his yacht had been adrift for anything approaching seven years.

- Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

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