Mummified Captain Found Drifting at Sea

By on February 29, 2016

The mummified remains of a man last seen seven years ago have been found drifting aboard his yacht 50 miles off the Philippines coast.
Mummified captain Manfred Fritz Bajorat drifted on ghost ship for seven years.
The mummified remains of Manfred Fritz Bajorat found at sea aboard half-submerged yacht.

Of all the strange things found on the high seas, this one might be the creepiest…and the saddest. Express reported that two fisherman recently discovered a yacht partially submerged off the coast of Barobo in the Philippines. When they climbed aboard, they came face to face with the grey, mummified remains of its captain amidst strewn food, photo albums and clothes.

He was still sitting at his desk, where he had possibly been using the radio equipment to make a distress call before he died.

Paperwork on board identified the man as Manfred Fritz Bajorat, a German explorer last seen in Mallorca, Spain by a fellow sailor in 2009. Authorities speculate the cause of death may have been a heart attack. A broken mast suggests the yacht may have encountered bad weather.

High temperatures, dry ocean winds, and salty air preserved the corpse as the boat drifted around the globe.

Mummified sailor found at sea

On the condition of the remains, Jeremy Laurance writes for The Independent:

Pictures show a man with silver hair and a beard, his head leaning towards his crooked arm, which is resting on the table, as if he were studying a chart. His body is remarkably intact. Seated in the cabin, it was protected from scavenging sea birds; and the high temperature, low humidity and salty sea-air appear to have combined to produce ideal conditions for preservation of the corpse.

Had he fallen into the water, it would have been a different story. In tropical seas, decomposition and putrefaction begin quickly and progress rapidly. A body may sink to the bottom initially but the bacterial action which causes it to bloat with gas will normally mean that, after three or four days, it will again float to the surface, where it is exposed to sea-birds, sharks and buffeting by the waves.

In cold water, this process may be slowed. The tissues form a soapy, fatty acid known as “grave wax” that protects the corpse and halts bacterial growth. Bodies have been recovered almost completely intact after several weeks in cold seas. However, a natural mummification such as Bajorat’s is rare, as it requires extreme conditions of cold, salinity, acidity or aridity.

UPDATE: The Independent article also reports that, though he has not been seen since 2009, the last message received from Bajorat was a year ago.

65 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Fundi Kali

    July 2, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    Thanks to the person that provided the story. Haters here would have been scribbling on a toilet wall for won’t of something to do.
    Keep writing.

    • Avatar

      Troy

      July 4, 2019 at 7:03 am

      What in the blue fuck are you talking about…YOU make absolutely no sense at all.
      I hate people that run there uneducated mouths when they actually don’t know a dam thing about what they are talking about.

      • Avatar

        Indy tATE

        July 4, 2019 at 8:25 am

        Damn Troy, what has got your panties in a bunch?

      • Avatar

        Lex

        July 5, 2019 at 10:49 am

        * their

      • Avatar

        Rob

        July 5, 2019 at 1:52 pm

        You hate uneducated people? That’s a bit harsh. By the way its their not there…….. maybe you need more education ???

      • Avatar

        Devin

        July 6, 2019 at 6:03 am

        Their*

  2. Avatar

    Serge Raymond Moreau

    July 2, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    ?????????
    PrinceSERGERaymondMoreau’OfficielSeal
    La providence a fait que son corps pourra être
    récupérer par les membres de la famille pour des
    obsèques normal selon ses convictions religieuses.

  3. Avatar

    Melanie

    July 1, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    How’s it gonna be arid at sea? Even with the salinity, it would still be humid

  4. Avatar

    Robert J Braud

    June 29, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    It seems to me a sad ending to a man who loved the sea. I admit I do not like the waster so I cannot see any bright spot here.
    Bob

    • Avatar

      T. L G

      July 2, 2019 at 7:49 pm

      There is a news photo of rescuers with the yacht as well as a picture of the Captain online for those that think this is BS

  5. Avatar

    john runion

    June 28, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    he looks like albert fish.

  6. Avatar

    Justin Underwood

    June 27, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    This article is bullshit and the fucking movie would suck. Nobody has a damn clue what he was doing all that time so it wouldn’t be a true story it would be a dumb ass boring cut off your eyelids and still fall asleep movie. When I thought I had heard some dumb shit in my life the real retards just stood up and shit right out of there mouth. You should write a movie about a group of dumb ass people talking about making a movie about some bullshit story that is well bullshit. If that captin could speak he would say dumb ass this isnt possible its bullshit.

    • Avatar

      Cris Marqua

      June 28, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      Hahahahahhaa…. Admit it tho , that would be a cool movie tho hahHHHa

      • Avatar

        LaRock

        June 29, 2019 at 9:56 am

        I found the sociopath!

    • Avatar

      YourDaddy

      June 28, 2019 at 10:22 pm

      What is it for you man? Fuck off! Go ride any fucking vessel, become a fucking mommy urself and then come itch the worlds ass. Dame you are a boring motherfucking crying bith

    • Avatar

      Raven

      June 29, 2019 at 2:43 am

      You mad tho? Lmao

    • Avatar

      Lord fuckwad

      July 1, 2019 at 10:12 pm

      This is the best comment for sure. Please make a movie.

    • Avatar

      Jerry

      July 2, 2019 at 8:25 pm

      Justin, I am going to make the movie and email it to all of your friends and relatives. I will also pay them hundreds of dollars per day to discuss it with you.

    • Avatar

      jacqueb

      July 6, 2019 at 11:03 pm

      *their

  7. Avatar

    blank901

    June 26, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    Douglass.. We are still waiting on that movie.

  8. Avatar

    Charles

    June 26, 2019 at 10:03 am

    From my 22 years experience as a sailor, I call BS. At sea, normal waves are quite large and would have rocked the hell out of a small, uncontrolled vessel like this. He would NOT have remained seated upright, he would have been thrown to the deck eventually. And the vessel would have gone through stormy weather with significantly larger waves, which would have caused great disarray inside the cabin.
    Also, mummification requires dry air, and unless the vessel remained at high latitudes, the air inside the cabin would have been very moist.

    • Avatar

      JohnPiers

      June 27, 2019 at 4:18 pm

      Agree completely.

    • Avatar

      Suzy

      June 29, 2019 at 2:07 am

      Agreed. You concur my perplexed thoughts.

    • Avatar

      Jimmy Hawk

      July 1, 2019 at 10:20 pm

      Right you are. Total B.S.

  9. Avatar

    Jonathan Scott James

    June 26, 2019 at 12:44 am

    had to believe it was so many years ago and people Are still commenting. interesting how his body is kind of zombiefied and you can see he slid back and forth from wave action. i wander what kept the wind from blowing it aground. i know the currents are circular in the golf . i guess the keel sticks so far into the water that it dominates the wind pressure on the hull. why wasn’t he thrown from his seat? i guess the winds were mild. i wonder if it’s possible to tell when the mast broke…i wonder if he was out of fuel. probably so since he was out there for 15 years. seems like a modern vessel would have a cheep 10$ solar panel just for cases like this so it could send a distress beacon that could easily be picked up by satellite, maybe he starved.. yet a fishing pole with a bare hook could catch something in that period of time.. but not if you don’t try. maybe fasting and dehydration expedited the mummification

  10. Avatar

    Rneoai Ybnnio Artcnn

    June 25, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    Um… “UPDATE: The Independent article also reports that, though he has not been seen since 2009, the last message received from Bajorat was a year ago.”

    How in the hell did a message get sent last year after he wasn’t heard from since 2009?? With this type of mummification he would have had to been dead a few years already. WTH?

  11. Avatar

    Stephen Clifford

    June 25, 2019 at 10:50 am

    Autopsy then showed he’d died of heart attack a week earlier ….

  12. Avatar

    Sheri naidus

    April 10, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Omg you people need a life off social media lmao!!

    • Avatar

      Kroberts1140

      June 24, 2019 at 8:11 pm

      And yet…here YOU are.

    • Avatar

      Holden Tudiks

      July 2, 2019 at 3:51 pm

      Sheri naidus…….Yet…….here you are on here! Fucking dumbass comment

  13. Avatar

    Ali Laldin

    April 9, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    What a painful way to go. RIP captain. Just wondering maybe they should just sink the boat and his captain as a final tribute to a captain that died with his crippled ship that became his tombstone. He never left his ship and should stay that way. The high seas should be his grave as a means of last respect in my opinion.

    • Avatar

      Ali Laldin

      April 9, 2019 at 12:58 pm

      Also he must have of a heart attack so I don’t think it was slow and painful. But I still think he should go down with his ship in the high seas what he always meant to do. “Still sailing” and “still exploring”. 🙂

      • Avatar

        Gina Cole

        April 29, 2019 at 8:40 am

        Yes he should.

  14. Avatar

    Kevin

    January 11, 2019 at 7:34 am

    Mummifacapt`n. These writers suck each other’s ol pinions n balls . Don’t tell us that “warm” winds help preserve if a few sentences later your gonna say cold waters slow the process. The pertinent question I wanna know is what kind of sunblock lotion did he use …..spfrip. HA at least 25 % of girls in my highschool class had skin like that thanks to unlimited monthly tanning sessions.

    • Avatar

      Matthew David Ray Squires

      April 7, 2019 at 11:33 pm

      wind =/= water

    • Avatar

      Mike

      April 8, 2019 at 5:14 pm

      WTF are you even talking about? You aosou retarded dude. Are you in high school? Or are you just HIGH?

      • Avatar

        Charles

        April 9, 2019 at 9:35 am

        Thank you! What an idiot. If you’re going to make a snarky comment, it should at least A. make sense and B. contain some semblance of humor that you don’t have to be troll with no life experience living off your parents’ teat to understand. Kevin is the poster-child for pulling out.

  15. Avatar

    Paul

    December 19, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Get real here. Millions of ways one may die but the inescapable truth is we all will and have little control over when and in what manner we go out. So i dont think going out doing something you love should be a horrible way to go. Living to a ripe old age but spending your latter years rotting away in a nursing home having someone changing your diapers for you and nobody coming to visit because they dont want to see that, until u finally die broken, alone and with a shitty diaper on, now thats a horrible way to die

  16. Avatar

    zane

    February 14, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    he looks really good for being out there for a wile the salty seas kept him persevered and if someone were to touch him he would fall in to ashes because the way he was persevered.

  17. Avatar

    Gordon Murray

    September 21, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Goes to show you never abandon your boat until it is beyond hope. Stepping up to leave.
    That yacht was still floating after perhaps a full season on the waves left to its own devices

  18. Avatar

    Julie

    December 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    How do you know it was awful? I think he died doing exactly what he loved. Better that than lingering in pain…

    • Avatar

      Sandra

      September 21, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      I agree, what better way to go than doing what you love. Why do people think this was an ‘awful death’ he chose to be alone and presumably love his life st sea!

      • Avatar

        XYV

        November 23, 2017 at 4:07 pm

        You’re kidding, right? Or are you just saying that to make yourself feel better? No one wants to die like this. No family wants to recover the remains of a loved one in this state. No kid wants to remember to their father this way. This was an awful death. It was a horrific, lonely and terrifying death. If you think otherwise it’s because you’re imposing your romantic delusions on someone else. I am 100 percent certain if you died alone and in pain as the result of a hobby, your passion for that hobby wouldn’t make your death any easier.

        • Avatar

          Joseph Haley

          June 27, 2019 at 5:03 am

          I’m a waterman and I could honestly say that I would die exactly where I would want to be if I were to die at sea.

        • Avatar

          Nathan Spanbauer

          July 2, 2019 at 2:36 pm

          “horrific death” Says the person who really doesn’t know what happened.

    • Avatar

      Cassidy

      November 24, 2017 at 6:33 am

      I’m with you…heart attacks can be very quick, if his pain had been prolonged and severe he wouldn’t have been sitting at his desk. I think xyv is imposing romantic delusions of large loving families. No one had heard from him in a year and he wasn’t reported missing. He may have had no family or been estranged from them. He died doing what he loved.

    • Avatar

      zane

      February 14, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      i agree death is some what a good thing

  19. Avatar

    Jorell

    March 9, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    A man died Douglas. Try holding your ego in check.

  20. Avatar

    Jeremy

    March 8, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    I keep thinking about this story and it is terrifying! imagine being this captain? It is like the story of the Chinese woman who was found in a lift a month after it was decommissioned.

  21. Avatar

    Ken Major

    March 2, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Clive Cussler, your thoughts?

  22. Avatar

    D

    March 2, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    go read the original article on this he last contacted someone on facebook one year ago. rip sir, but this article saying adrift for seven years is nonsense.

    • Charlie Hintz

      Charlie Hintz

      March 2, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      On Monday, when this was initially posted, there was no information regarding contact made a year ago.

  23. Avatar

    jaybar redspoon

    March 2, 2016 at 9:53 am

    And they never found him. Give him a right burial, RIP Captain. That was a horrible way to die

  24. Avatar

    Joan

    March 1, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Good idea for movie, assuming they dont get too weird with it.
    RIP Captain

    • Avatar

      Jason

      March 2, 2016 at 7:43 am

      A movie about a dead guy floating at sea by himself sounds great. Give it a Weekend at Bernie’s kind of vibe. Think of all the shenanigans. Castaway has already been done. We don’t need another of those

      • Avatar

        penny

        March 6, 2016 at 7:08 pm

        eh what would the plot be, he dies and the the camera just films him as he slowly decomposes over 7 years?

        • Avatar

          Thor Bohlen

          May 14, 2016 at 4:10 pm

          I would think this would be a great movie, Maybe it would show him sailing at sea getting away from his problems.. or flash backs of his child hood.. and and towards the end.. he realizes its not real.. but he is a ghost on his own ship… searching his way back.. to whatever..

  25. Avatar

    douglasvermeeren

    March 1, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    This would be a great idea for a movie. Don’t be surprised if you see this show up in one of my projects. VISP Pictures. http://www.DouglasVermeeren.com

    • Avatar

      Yenna

      August 14, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      Douglas … A man died an awful death and all you can think about is how you can profit from it. I’m keeping your information so I know what movies to avoid.

      • Avatar

        Col. Angus

        January 4, 2017 at 11:13 pm

        I’ll have to consult my book ‘singlehanded sailing ‘ . I’m curious as to how the boat survived half submerged at sea for 7 years . He must have liked solitude .

      • Avatar

        Brent

        June 26, 2019 at 3:45 am

        Douglas wonderful idea bro!!
        It is obvious that none of these land loving greenhorn understands what the word captain,skipper or sailor means ??
        Last message was on Facebook a year ago?? Well it probably wasn’t as S.O.S. or a cry for help?hence wasn’t found for a year?
        People like to believe what they think based on their beliefs even if they have no idea what they think? And that’s fine, but don’t let that detour you from what you want to do douglas!! Cant wait to see your movie brother ??

    • Avatar

      Thor Sven Ericsson

      August 19, 2016 at 5:33 am

      Douglas … A man died an awful death and all you can think about is how you can make a movie based on a true story from it. I’m keeping your information so I know what movies to watch.

    • Avatar

      jeccav

      November 23, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      Apparently dying on board his boat *wasn’t* enough to protect this man from sharks. What the f**k, Douglas.

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.