Sailors on a round-the-world race found and left a dead German whose body was discovered on a yacht adrift off the southern Philippines, event organisers said.
“In the spirit of the Clipper Race and the crew of team LMAX Exchange, we put the racing aside in the hope of assisting the stricken vessel and any fellow sailors marooned,” it said, quoting a statement put out by the team.
The boat then drifted for 25 days across more than 1,200km of water before Filipino fishermen found the dismasted and listing white-hulled vessel off the east coast of Mindanao island.
Filipino police said the by-then mummified body found slumped over a table in the cabin was likely that of German Manfred Fritz Bajorat, the presumed owner of the 44ft yacht.
“It was out of respect that we chose not to publicise the full details of the finding. We hoped to avoid causing unnecessary alarm within the international sailing community by announcing the death of a then unknown sailor,” the race organisers said.
The Clipper race announcement, published on its website on Tuesday, appeared to put in doubt a Filipino police autopsy findings the man had died of a heart attack about a week before the fishermen found him.
The US embassy in Manila referred AFP’s requests for comment to the US Coast Guard in Hawaii, which did not immediately reply to emailed questions.
Bajorat was a 59-year-old veteran yachtsman who left his native Germany two decades ago and was then widowed several years ago, Germany’s Bild daily earlier reported, quoting an old friend.
Bajorat had told the friend a year ago that he wanted to go on another around-the-world trip, Bild added.
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