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Old 04-08-2015, 15:16   #46
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

Overboard if possible...
Worse story i heard was a guy who had a heart attack and died while up the masthead fixing a jammed halyard..A couple were on a Trans Atlantic crossing when it went bad.. Wife got him up there and he clipped himself off to the top of the mast, got to work but died...Wife couldn't get him down so carried on sailing...One can only imagine the conditions on deck after a few days..A friend who went out to meet the yacht said it was awful and the wife was a mess as you could imagine..but scary scenario..
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Old 04-08-2015, 15:29   #47
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

I'm just going to put the sick humor down to trying to laugh it off, otherwise it is just tasteless.

Maybe distance boaters should just consider having a body bag on the boat. While they aren't cheap and appear to start around $200, boaters put other things on their boats with just as much likelihood of being needed that cost a lot more. I would think a loved one would have an easier mental and physical time putting someone into a body bag that tying a rope to them to drag topside and then toss overboard.
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Old 04-08-2015, 15:33   #48
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

Burn the boat and you both can go to Valhalla. Sounds saner than some responses.
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Old 04-08-2015, 15:42   #49
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I'm just going to put the sick humor down to trying to laugh it off, otherwise it is just tasteless.

Maybe distance boaters should just consider having a body bag on the boat. While they aren't cheap and appear to start around $200, boaters put other things on their boats with just as much likelihood of being needed that cost a lot more. I would think a loved one would have an easier mental and physical time putting someone into a body bag that tying a rope to them to drag topside and then toss overboard.
You seem to only want the serious answers, so apart from telling you I like the suggestion about the freezer I can tell you that body bags will 'contain' the body and the resultant moister, but they don't contain the smell. It's the smell that people need to get rid of. It really is impossible to stay on a boat with that smell. Unless your on narcotics or something similar.

And in all seriousness if carrying a body bag for such an eventuallity is a consideration, I think it's time to retire and stay on the land.
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Old 04-08-2015, 15:46   #50
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

It sudden occurs to me that I know exactly what to do!
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Old 04-08-2015, 15:59   #51
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

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I'm interested in the procedure or rules if a crew member dies at sea.

For discussion purposes, let's assume more than 500 miles offshore, making it difficult to return or continue to destination. I'm assuming one would contact the USCG via SSB/Satphone. I think it would be unreasonable to keep the body onboard for 7+ days.

What to do?
So how are relations between you and the "nearest and dearest" ? or are you thinking of taking your biggest creditor sailing?
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Old 04-08-2015, 16:23   #52
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Don View Post
I'm interested in the procedure or rules if a crew member dies at sea.

For discussion purposes, let's assume more than 500 miles offshore, making it difficult to return or continue to destination. I'm assuming one would contact the USCG via SSB/Satphone. I think it would be unreasonable to keep the body onboard for 7+ days.

What to do?
Based on personal experience ( 55 year old, heart attack, 36 hours at 20 degrees celcius ) I would suggest 48 hours absolute max..

Having landed ours the poor policeman who accepted him was faced with a 4 hour drive on the hottest day of the year ( high 30*s ) with the 'openstow' cadaver in the back of his Land Cruiser....
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Old 04-08-2015, 16:58   #53
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

A couple of observations.
I agree with Rustic Charm very much in suggesting that a recently deceased person is a Mayday situation, at least in some countries. Death would normally only be legally determined by rigor mortis, lavitity, decomposition, decapitation, other transection or on the statement of a qualified medical doctor (yes, I realise there are some exceptions in some jurisdictions and situations). Under the laws of many countries you are expected to treat them as being alive and there for in the need of medical attention until one of these signs becomes present.

Which brings me to my next point, when one of these signs becomes present, ie decomposition, you don't want them on the boat with you. I'd say trailing in a dinghy would likely be appropriate, but it would be awfully unpleasant having them onboard with you.

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Old 04-08-2015, 22:40   #54
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

Dying is easy, why to make so difficult aftermath. Just every crewmember writes a suicide letter in case of kicking the bucket. Toss the body overboard, notify the authorities and give the letter in next port..
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Old 04-08-2015, 23:24   #55
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

A human remains body bag is only 40 clams, can use it as a sleeping bag cover or deer hauling bag when not holding a corpse.


Body Bags : U.S. Military Human Remains Body Bag
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Old 04-08-2015, 23:45   #56
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

A death at sea can hardly be classified as a life threatening situation. Once dead it is no longer a threat.




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Old 05-08-2015, 02:11   #57
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

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A death at sea can hardly be classified as a life threatening situation. Once dead it is no longer a threat.
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Sticking to the letter of the law you would be right. But given the op's question, that far out, unable to get immediate assistance, the consequences of not getting assistance urgently can certainly lead to a life threatening situation.

In addition, most people are not qualified to declare someone dead. Therefore the persons in critical danger in need of urgent assistance. Mayday if available is worthy and certainly justifies an Epirb if you can't raise anyone.
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Old 05-08-2015, 02:31   #58
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

I think the process of how you determine and document death is going to go a long way towards keeping you out of trouble, both criminally and civilly. During that process I would include attempting to make a medical patch via sat phone or whatever communications tools you have.

Its been quite a few years since I've made a medical patch, but as I recall- at least in Canada (normally routed through the vessels country of origin), the call is routed through an RCC and there for is passing through both Coast Guard and Department of National Defence operators and of course to the hospital.

During this call you're going to explain to the doctor why you think this person is dead, he's going to walk you through the process and the whole process will be documented on both ends.

After you have concluded the person is in fact deceased, explain to the doctor that you have concerns about the biohazard and ask what you should do with the remains.

If you are the type to cross oceans without any kind of long range communications equipment, then I have no idea what you should do aside from be darn careful about how you determine and document the death.

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Old 05-08-2015, 03:16   #59
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

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I'd leave the body on the boat until landfall. I sail solo, so there's not much choice.

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If you sail solo, and there's a death on board, unless I misunderstand the situation, it's no longer your problem, but rather one for whoever finds your vessel adrift, am I right?

I would be in the same boat I guess... If I had a boat, that is.

Note to self... Buy boat.


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Old 05-08-2015, 03:22   #60
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

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Originally Posted by tdominic_97 View Post
A human remains body bag is only 40 clams, can use it as a sleeping bag cover or deer hauling bag when not holding a corpse.


Body Bags : U.S. Military Human Remains Body Bag
Are they new or used?
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