The mummified body of a German adventurer was found 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.
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 whose sail was broken from afar.
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, clothes and tins of food 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.
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.
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 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.
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.