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German yachtsman missing; vessel found on Wakenaam was travelling from Africa to Caribbean

Axel Verlohr (Facebook photo)

A lone German yachtsman, who was sailing from West Africa to Trinidad, might have gone missing and his vessel washed up on the Essequibo Island of Wakenaam, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) said Wednesday.

He is Axel Verlohr of Nuremberg, Germany. The vessel was discovered Friday, April 17, 2015 at Mofarm Foreshore, Wakenaam.

Officials said a German identification card in the name of Verlohr and a note with telephone numbers for a woman in Germany were found in the vessel after a detailed search of the catamaran. His sister was contacted and she told Guyanese authorities that the man was her brother.

“According to the woman, he was supposed to be travelling alone from an Island off the West Coast of Africa to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago,” said MARAD.

MARAD said the catamaran bore no visible name or port of registry number

Authorities here said the vessel was discovered stranded on Friday, April 17, 2015 on the seashore of Wakenaam Island, Essequibo River, Guyana. “There was no sign of the crew and the vessel was vandalized,” said the maritime regulatory agency.

Guyana’s Foreign Ministry has since contacted German authorities have been informed.

MARAD said law enforcement officers initially inspected the vessel. They were followed by an officer from MARAD who was dispatched to the area on Sunday to also commence investigations into the circumstances which may have caused the vessel to make landfall in Guyana, and the status of its crew.

On Sunday evening it was successfully salvaged and taken to a more secure location at Wakenaam.