Solo mariner found dead on yacht may have had heart attack, Philippine autopsy finds


A German man 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 Wednesday.

Police earlier named the victim based on documents aboard the yacht on Friday as Manfred Fritz Bajorat of Germany, but they have yet to establish 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 said.

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

Local fishermen found the 13-meter yacht with a broken mast adrift on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean on Friday, with the dried-up 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 kilometers off the town of Barobo, the town’s deputy police chief Inspector Mark Navales said.

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

Documents, old pictures of a family visiting Paris landmarks, rice and tinned food lay scattered on the cabin of the boat, which had taken in water and was listing to one side, he 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 have ports of the same name.

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

The German embassy in Manila referred queries on the case to the German foreign ministry.