According to Dr. Janet Davey, a forensic Egyptologist at the Department of Forensic Medicine at Monash University, it is not impossible for a sailor’s body becomes mummified on a ship at sea.
For a corpse to be mummified, it has to be placed in the right environment under the right conditions to prevent decomposition.
Artificial mummification requires a mixture of chemicals, including preservatives, whereas natural mummification requires dry conditions and good air circulation.
It is also essential that the corpse be kept in an enclosed area to stay safe from insect attacks. The doctor suggests that natural mummification may happen in a matter of weeks under the right circumstances.
It was likely what happened to Manfred Fritz Bajorat, a German sailor whose body was found lifeless on his boat in February 2016.
About a month earlier, his ship was spotted by a yacht crew member, who then reported the sighting to the U.S. coast guard.
It turned out Bajorat had been listed as a missing person in 2009. When some Philippines fishermen discovered Bajorat, his remains had been mummified.
10 /10 Broken Mast
On February 26, 2016, Christopher Rivas and his fellow anglers were about to turn their ship home when they saw a half-submerged boat with a broken mast about 60 miles off the coast of the southern Philippines.
It was a 13-meter long yacht named Sajo, with a dead body on board. The last time anybody saw and identified the ship was more than a year ago.
Rivas and his friends rushed to rescue the body, but they were all too late by quite some time. The corpse had been mummified, and the person had died long before they found him.
9 /10 No Evidence Of Foul Play
Rivas towed the Sajo to the port of Barobo, located about 700 miles south of Manila, Philippines.
The police in the port revealed that after a post-mortem examination, they found no evidence to suggest or indicate the presence of foul play. He possibly had died of a heart attack or other natural causes.
Based on the documents found in the yacht, the authorities were able to identify the decedent as Manfred Fritz Bajorat.
Investigators believed Bajorat was drifting in the Pacific Oceans for months before the discovery. The time of death was not established at this point.