Published: Tuesday, 08 March 2016

On January 31, Clipper Round the World Yacht Race team LMAX Exchange ceased competition during Leg 5 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, from Airlie Beach, Australia, to Da Nang - Viet Nam, to examine an abandoned yacht found drifting in its path, off the coast of the Philippines. One of the crew swam out and boarded the yacht, where the sole occupant, German sailor Manfred Fritz Bajorat, was found dead, in a state of advanced decomposition.

Clipper Race Yacht Discovers Abandoned Yacht 1

After liaising with the US Coast Guard in Guam on the finding and location, and Falmouth Coast Guard, the team was instructed to carry on racing as it could provide no further assistance, while USCG Guam took over the investigation. Clipper Race Director Justin Taylor also notified the German Embassy in London, who informed the German Police and Coast Guard, who were then able to trace the sailor’s next of kin via the boat registration details provided by the team.

A statement made by the LMAX Exchange team reports: “As reported, the crew of LMAX Exchange spotted a boat adrift off the coast of Guam. 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.”

Clipper Race Yacht Discovers Abandoned Yacht

“After boarding the drifting vessel, we unfortunately discovered the body of a lone sailor,” the team continues. “We remained on site, under instruction, until released by the USCG who continued with the recovery.

“As a team we found comfort that he was found and that peace will be given to his friends and family who have been looking for him. Our words and thoughts were shared for the sailor as he now rests in peace.”

Clipper Race Yacht Discovers Abandoned Boat

(Photo: Bajorat's decomposed body/Barobo Police)

Watch as LMAX Exchange crew member makes the discovery (Warning: Strong Language):