Visitors to Lynch Park, in Beverley, Mass., watched in fear as the unattended boat drifted toward shore and onto the rocks. A body could be seen slumped over near the steering wheel.
“Foul play is not suspected,” Carrie Kimball Monahan, spokeswoman for Essex County District Attorney’s Office, told reporters on Friday, adding that “it does appear he died from natural causes.”
According to a statement released by Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett’s office, the man’s body was removed and taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, where an autopsy was to be performed.
On Saturday, the deceased was identified as 76-year-old Alexander Sachs of Gloucester, Massachusetts.
According to local news station WHDH, friends at the Salem Willow Yacht Club, where the boat is typically moored, described Sachs as soft-spoken and an experienced sailor.
The 32-foot sailboat’s name is Etoile, French for “star.” The Beneteau fiberglass model was built in 1989 and registered in Salem.