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Old 05-03-2009, 07:20   #16
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If youre gonna throw him over board weigh him down with an anchor or something. All you need is the current to follow you and he ends up in port a few days behind all eaten up and bloaty.

For shore based Id follow my pappys advice. If youre gonna bury a body in a shallow grave, use quicklime.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:31   #17
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A good question! Probably a case where if the man dies everyone will grieve with the widow. If the man arrives in port saying his wife died and he pitched her overboard most will suspect he did her in. Likewise in a MOB situation.
Hopefully contact can be made with authorities or passing craft to corroborate the death was by natural causes, ie. no knife handles protruding from the back of the corpse.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:08   #18
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Over My Dead Body

Unexpected death at sea is an unpleasent reality, e.g. Cruising South African Cruising Sailor - Boom Death in Oz | seabreeze.com.au

I have attempted to have discussions of the subject and what steps to take with my wife although it is difficult as she doesn't want to hear of the possibility. Never-the-less, it is a necessary discussion, particularly with aging husbands. In my view, it is less a case of what to do with the body than it is her ability to deal with getting herself to safety and the issue exists even with coastal passages. At this point, I think she has learned to put out a Mayday Call on VHF 16 and SSB 2182 or 4125 and, absent a response, to pop the EPIRB, at least I hope so. In any case, it is a discussion every husband and wife needs to have.

FWIW...
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:20   #19
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This kind of brings up another question. How many keep or have thought of keeping a heartstart defib machine onboard?

Though not going to happen anytime soon (per my Dr. at least) it is one of those things that I think about, off shore, alone no less, and you start having problems. Popping the epirb or mayday my not get help in time.

With technology like the heartstart and even hospital grade ekg devices that are USB connected to an IPAQ or laptop (that can xmit back to shore like Rescue51) that really dont cost that much or even cheaper with a prescription. You can buy considerable time when you need it.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:39   #20
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I'm with Mark on this one....throw him over the side and you will be the no1 suspect.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:49   #21
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I know there are a lot of jokes in this thread, but the actual trauma of having your spouse or child die on your vessel would be devastating. As a point of prevention I'd recommend this:

Amazon.com: Advanced First Aid Afloat: Peter F., M.D. Eastman, John M. Levinson: Books

Keep them onboard. I'm pretty sure the emotional impact of this event would surpass any smells and inconveniences.
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:05   #22
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That leads to some other questions. How many of us know how to best use all of the first aid gear on our boat. I have kept my first aid certifications up to date, but I have a very complete kit on the boat, and I admit, that I do not know how to effectively use all of it in every situation.
Basic stopping bleeding, dealing with broken bones, dealing with a heart attack, I think I am ready for, but what about poisening. Sudden illness, internal injury, or illness? I have books to deal with allot of this, but I am certainly no doctor.
These are the risks we take. If an apendix bursts a 500 miles off shore, I am pretty much screwed.
I do agree that all on board need to be prepared for the worst. I also agree that the answers are not easy to find. The discussion needs to be had. No one likes to talk about death, or even serious injury, but surviving such a trauma, may depend on instant, almost instinctive action, that can only happen through planning.
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:44   #23
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We were being beat to hell during typhoon Tip in the late 70's north of Luzon.
My dad went forward to take down the jib and I was on the helm.
Just before he reached it the boat pitched, and the deck came up so fast it hit him in the face, he managed to get what was left of the jib down and worked his way aft.

I remember he had a white tee shirt on and with the blowing rain it was pink with blood.
He had split his lip all the way through to his gums and about a quarter of an inch up into one of his nostrils.
It looked like a cleft pallet/lip….it parted so much I could see all the way into his teeth and gums.
He went below and during all that pitching and gonna dying, my mom sewed it closed.

I’ll never forget that.

None of us had any medical training, but while we were provisioning in Hong Kong my parents had bought every conservable medical surgical thing they could imagine needing.

All though I like to think I’m tough and can sort through most things, I don’t know that I would have been able to play either of those rolls.

They just don’t make-em like that any more.
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:53   #24
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Stitches are not very difficult. Super glue also works well for smaller wounds. I can tell you that if you need stitches on board, I would be able to fix you up, but if you are worried about a scar... Well, it ain't gonna be pretty. That is one of the important skills that you need to cruise off shore. So is a very clear understanding of when, and how to use a turnicate. You can be fairly certain that if a turnicate is used, that limb will be lost.
As for the defibrilater, having it is great. Using it, on the deck of a boat, with waves crashing on deck, and being tossed around, well, I would make it a point to get very specific training on how to do this without lighting yourself up.
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Old 05-03-2009, 13:29   #25
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Some years back one of the Vendee Globe sailors had an accident that caused him to bite his tongue. The doctor told him the best thing to do was to suture it and explained in detail the procedure. He sewed up his own tongue...cause he had to. It's amazing the things we can do when we have to.
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Old 05-03-2009, 14:29   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Nui View Post
These are the risks we take. If an apendix bursts a 500 miles off shore, I am pretty much screwed. .
Not many non physicians are going to deal with that on board a small yacht, and I bet even surgeons who deal with this frequently in a hospital setting would not be comfortable with the surroundings and surgical instruments typically available on a small yacht. An Eprib or other good communications may be your best first aid/extended care item in many serious situations.

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Originally Posted by Kai Nui View Post
.Using it, on the deck of a boat, with waves crashing on deck, and being tossed around, well, I would make it a point to get very specific training on how to do this without lighting yourself up.
Today's AEDs have adhesive pads instead of paddles, are very safe and easy to use. They are also much cheaper. One still should have specific training.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Nui View Post
.How many of us know how to best use all of the first aid gear on our boat. I have kept my first aid certifications up to date, but I have a very complete kit on the boat, and I admit, that I do not know how to effectively use all of it in every situation.
Basic stopping bleeding, dealing with broken bones, dealing with a heart attack, I think I am ready for, but what about poisening. Sudden illness, internal injury, or illness? I have books to deal with allot of this, but I am certainly no doctor.
I think in many cases the knowledge is much more important that the contents of a FA kit. A folded t-shirt and torn strips of a bed sheet will create just as functional a pressure bandage as a a combine dressing and ace bandage. In my mind, it's the meds that can make the difference. We often forget just how dangerous an infection for example can be if there are no antibiotics available. Things like internal injuries are not easily treatable even to those with advanced FA knowledge. Again, I think communications which allow you to get that person to advanced care more quickly may be your best treatment tool.

As for body disposal, I'm sure it all depends on the circumstances. It's one situation, I'd certainly be happy to have boat to shore communications to seek advice and inform people about. I imagine showing up announced in a foreign port with someone missing, could raise some issues.

Having the skills and tools to best deal with an emergency is good. Having the skills to prevent if from happening in the first place is better yet. I think far too often, we place too much emphasis on the first instead of the latter.
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Old 05-03-2009, 14:46   #27
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Stitches are not very difficult.
Easy for you to say Kai...You aren't James father, getting stiched up by an amateur surgeon during a gale with no anesthesia! God their generation is tough!

As for burst appendix, I know two people who burst appendix IN THE HOSPITAL who didn't make it. And the AED...My guess is most people don't just wake up fine after being hooked up to one of those wonderful devices. Probably a little more to it than that!
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Old 05-03-2009, 15:01   #28
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As for body disposal, I'm sure it all depends on the circumstances. It's one situation, I'd certainly be happy to have boat to shore communications to seek advice and inform people about. I imagine showing up announced in a foreign port with someone missing, could raise some issues.
There is that issue, but I was thinking about how you would go about getting a death certificate and access to all the things that require a death certificate, like life insurance, etc. I would think someone would need to see the body in order to issue a death certificate.
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Old 05-03-2009, 15:24   #29
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I can't speak to getting death certificates, etc in other nations, but I know when I took a mountaineering rescue and FA course years ago, one thing they recommended with dead people was photo documenting everything - the corpse, the context in which it was found and any thing else relevant to the circumstances. Sounds gruesome, but I can see the value in it when one later needs to verify things.
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