Philippines police probe mystery of dead German yachtsman

Filipino fishermen recovering the drifting yacht Image copyright EPA
Image caption Filipino fishermen boarded the drifting yacht in the seas off Barobo town

Police are investigating the death of a German sailor whose body was found slumped in a yacht drifting off the southern Philippines.

Fishermen found the decomposing body inside the radio room of the yacht, which was floating 62 miles (100 km) off the coast near Barabo town in Surigeo del Sur province, police said.

Documents in the vessel indentified the man as Manfred Fritz Bajorat.

It is unclear what killed him or how long he has been dead.

Investigators found no obvious signs of violence. They are trying to retrace the man's final journeys and speak to the last people to have had contact with him.

'It's a mystery'

Graphic photographs posted on Facebook by local authorities appeared to show the body preserved in the radio room by hot, salty ocean conditions.

The man was found slumped over his right arm on a desk, with one hand near a telephone. Personal possessions were found scattered elsewhere in the yacht, according to reports.

Image copyright BAROBO POLICE
Image caption A picture of Manfred Fritz Bajorat was recovered inside a drifting yacht in the seas off Barobo town

The grim discovery was made on Thursday by local fishermen, led by 23-year-old Christopher Rivas, who reported it to police.

Forensic examiners believe the man died more than four days before the yacht, marked "Sajo", was found, Inspector Mark Navales, deputy police chief of Barabo town, told AFP.

"It is still a mystery to us," he said.

The yacht was later towed to Barabo on Mindanao island.

The German embassy in Manila has not commented on the reports.

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