Raft man lived in London

The mysterious raft man has been living in London for the last two years, it has emerged. For some of that time he was housed by a Methodist church in the city.

Gradually the riddle surrounding the man, who was found floating on a raft in the middle of the Skagerrak Strait between Sweden and Denmark ten days ago, is beginning to unravel.

“We had that confirmed today, Monday, by congregation members who recognised the man,” said Anna Rosenberg at Gothenburg police.

“He was given food and accommodation by the church. He is also known to the British authorities. He confessed that himself in our interviews with him.”

He is known in England under the same name, George Williams, that he gave to police in Sweden.

“In this respect he has given us completely correct details.”

Otherwise police are finding it hard to piece together his story. He still refuses to say how he ended up on the raft made of four oil drums and bits of wood, which was found by a Norwegian ship on April 21st.

He was taken onboard after, according to his account, four days at sea.

He has also said that he was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1959. The man has lived in the United States and says he wants to be taken back there.

But neither his picture nor his fingerprints exist in any American records, says the US embassy in Stockholm.

Police are treating the case as a deportation issue. He is currently in the custody of the Swedish Board of Migration in Mölndal.

TT/The Local