Guyana officials search for missing German boater after empty catamaran washes ashore

An empty catamaran has washed ashore in the South American country of Guyana, and authorities said Thursday they trying to determine if it belongs to a missing German sailor.

An identification card belonging to Axel Verlohr of Nuremberg, Germany, was found aboard the catamaran, whose navigation and other equipment had been stolen, according to officials.

Guyana's Maritime Administration Department said in a statement that it contacted Verlohr's sister in Germany, who told officials that he set sail alone from an island off Africa's west coast several months ago and was headed toward Trinidad.

Authorities said the sister's contact information was written on a note found aboard the boat, whose name and port of registry is unknown. Maritime department spokeswoman Akosua McPherson did not return a message for further comment.

Guyanese officials said they are working with German authorities to locate Verlohr. Messages left with those who knew Verlohr were not returned, while officials with the German Embassy in Trinidad were not immediately available for comment.

Authorities said Verlohr's boat was found April 18 on Wakenaam, an island just northwest of Guyana's capital. Guyana is located southeast of the twin-island nation of Trinidad & Tobago.


Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Associated Press writers Frank Jordans in Berlin and Tony Fraser in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad contributed to this report.