WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE BELOW
Eerie photos have emerged of a mummified body found inside a yacht drifting off the southern Philippines coast.
The man’s body could be seen slumped over a desk and leaning on his right arm “like he was sleeping”, local police said, right next to the radio as if he were calling for help.
Documents found on deck suggested the deceased man was German national Manfred Fritz Bajorat, 59.
Police from Barabo, on Mindanao Island, were investigating after the yacht was found by local fishermen about 100 kilometres off shore.
“When they [were] about to go home, they noticed one white yacht floating with destroyed sail,” a Facebook post by the Barobo Police Station wrote.
Local police inspector Mark Navales said the cause of death was unknown, but that there were no signs of foul play.
“It is still a mystery to us,” said Mr Navales, explaining it looked like the deceased “was sleeping”.
Fisherman Christopher Rivas boarded the yacht and saw the mummified corpse sitting in what was believed to be the radio room.
Mr Rivas and his companions towed the yacht to shore, where police officers began their investigation.
It is unclear how long the sailor had been missing but sightings had not been reported since 2009.
It was also unclear how long he had been dead on the yacht. This would become clear after further investigation, police said.
The 2009 sighting occurred in Mallorca, Spain.
He met another world sailor called Dieter who told BILD: “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.”
One of Mr Bajorat’s friends said the last time he had heard from him was about one year ago on Facebook, to wish a happy birthday.
Initial forensic examinations suggested to authorities that dry ocean winds, hot temperatures and salty air had aided in the body’s mummification.
The man’s wallet was not found on board among the scattered items, however the radio, GPS and “other valuable items” were found, Mr Navales said.
Numerous photos of what was presumed to be family and friends were found on board.
A badly battered picture showed Mr Bajorat and a baby, presumably his own, with the words: “Our first time with our little Button on the sea”.
Forensic criminologist Dr Mark Benecke, from Cologne, told BILD that Mr Bajorat’s posture suggested a death from natural causes.
“The way he is sitting seems to indicate that death was unexpected, perhaps from a heart attack,” Dr Benecke said.
Documents that were found included what appear to be old portraits, what appear to be family photos, and certificates from when Mr Bajorat and his wife Claudia crossed the equator aboard the ship Hyundai Renaissance in 2008.
According to media reports, Claudia Bajorat died from cancer in 2010 after the pair separated in 2008.
‘Thirty years we’re been together on the same path. Then the power of the demons was stronger than the will to live. You’re gone. May your soul find its peace. Your Manfred,’ a message believed to be to his wife read.
This tragic passage was discovered on an internet forum for sailors called kaktusguenther.de.
– with ABC