'Mummified' Body Of German Adventurer Still At Desk, Found On 'Ghost Yacht' After Years Sailing The World

29/02/2016 13:22 | Updated 01 March 2016

Warning: graphic image

The mummified body of a German adventurer has been discovered on board his yacht, seven years after the vessel was last spotted, leading to speculation the boat and sailor may have been drifting around the world for years.

Manfred Fritz Bajorat was found by two fishermen at the weekend, 40 miles from the coast of the Philippines, in the Pacific Ocean, in a cabin strewn with photo albums, clothes and tins of food.

The 59-year-old was found hunched over a desk near the radio telephone of his 40ft yacht, Sayo.

The mast of the yacht was broken and much of the cabin was underwater, but what killed the skipper is unclear, though experts believe his position at the desk suggests his death was unexpected.

Dry ocean winds, hot temperatures and the salty air helped preserve Bajorat's body. The sailor was identified by paperwork found on the vessel.

Police are trying to retrace Bajorat's last voyages and contact people he may have met or spoken to, to pinpoint when he died.

manfred fritz bajorat

The mummified body of German adventurer Manfred Fritz Bajorat was found aboard a yacht which had been drifting around the world

Bajorat's wife had been travelling with him, but they broke up in 2008.

In 2009, in Mallorca, Bajorat met another world sailer 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."

manfred fritz bajorat

Bajorat, experts believe, probably died unexpectedly

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

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."

The German embassy in Manila is working with local officials to trace Bajorat's family in Germany.

It is believed he has a daughter called Nina who works as the captain of a freight vessel.

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