Dead German in drifting yacht had heart attack: Philippine police

People stand on a partially-capsized boat believed to be owned by German national Manfred Fritz Bajorat whose body was found inside, after residents found the yatch drifting off the coast of Barobo, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao

Manila (AFP) – A German whose mummified body was found on a yacht adrift off the southern Philippines had died of a heart attack about a week earlier, according to an autopsy report released on Wednesday.

Police earlier named the victim based on documents found on the yacht on Friday as Manfred Fritz Bajorat, but still do not know where he had sailed from or where he was heading.

“The cause of death is acute myocardial infarction based on the autopsy by (the) regional crime laboratory,” national police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor told AFP.

“The German national is estimated to have been dead for more or less seven days,” he added, citing a statement by police in the southern Philippines.

Police in Barobo town on the east coast of Mindanao island, where the corpse was taken, said the German embassy was arranging for a relative to fly to the Philippines.

“It appears he has a daughter based in Germany and the embassy is to fly her here to identify the dead body,” Chief Inspector Dominador Plaza, the Barobo police chief, told AFP.

The embassy referred queries to the German foreign ministry.

Local fishermen found the white-hulled, 13-metre (44-foot) yacht with a broken mast adrift on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean on Friday, with the corpse of the naked man hunched over a table in the main cabin.

Police launched an inquiry to determine whether he had been the victim of a crime, but the autopsy result indicated otherwise.

The area where the boat was found is some 100 kilometres (60 miles) off Barobo, said the town’s deputy police chief Inspector Mark Navales.

“The… saltwater in the air could have mummified his body,” Navales added.

German-language documents, old pictures of a family visiting Paris landmarks, rice and tinned food lay scattered in the cabin of the boat, which had taken in water and was listing, police said.

One document photographed by police indicated the boat had obtained clearance from maritime police in Sao Vicente in 2013, although it was unclear if it was issued in Cape Verde or Brazil, which both have ports of the same name.

Police were still investigating the yacht’s travel plan, Chief Superintendent Mayor said.


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