Mummified captain found drifting at sea

Mummified Captain Found Drifting at Sea

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 replies
  1. Avatar
    Fundi Kali says:

    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.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Serge Raymond Moreau says:

    ?????????
    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.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Robert J Braud says:

    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

    Reply
    • Avatar
      T. L G says:

      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

      Reply
  4. Avatar
    Justin Underwood says:

    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.

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    Charles says:

    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.

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    Jonathan Scott James says:

    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

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    Rneoai Ybnnio Artcnn says:

    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?

    Reply
  8. Avatar
    Ali Laldin says:

    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.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Ali Laldin says:

      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”. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Avatar
    Kevin says:

    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.

    Reply
      • Avatar
        Charles says:

        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.

        Reply
  10. Avatar
    Paul says:

    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

    Reply
  11. Avatar
    zane says:

    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.

    Reply
  12. Avatar
    Gordon Murray says:

    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

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Sandra says:

      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!

      Reply
      • Avatar
        XYV says:

        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.

        Reply
    • Avatar
      Cassidy says:

      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.

      Reply
  13. Avatar
    Jeremy says:

    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.

    Reply
  14. Avatar
    D says:

    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.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Jason says:

      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

      Reply
        • Avatar
          Thor Bohlen says:

          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..

          Reply
    • Avatar
      Yenna says:

      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.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Col. Angus says:

        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 .

        Reply
      • Avatar
        Brent says:

        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 ??

        Reply

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