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Old 05-08-2015, 03:28   #61
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

Radio is of course the first thing to consider... that done if you are within helicopter medivac range offshore of many - dare I say it - 'first world countries' I would suggest there is a fairly good chance that they will come and collect the corpse... esp as said before the only sure signs of death are putrifaction and / or decapitation...
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Old 05-08-2015, 03:29   #62
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

In a world where folks give a parakeet a funeral there are still people that deal with death as part of life. Not an episode CSI or Law and Order.

You use ur comms. Contact Coast Guard and next of kin if you can. Head to a friendly harbor if available.

The private sector has different options than commercial and armed forces. All have been discussed here.

Abandoning ship or hitting the EPIRB don't sound like good plans.

While I don't carry a body bag, I do keep canvas, needles and thread. In winter a body should keep fairly well on the back deck for a while.

In the GOM finding a harbor isn't a big issue distance wise. Offshore installations would likely help arrange transport for a corpse.





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Old 05-08-2015, 03:37   #63
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

IF you were well offshore and IF you used your radio and IF there was a navy ship or a cruise liner within cooee there would probably be a good chance they would meet up with you ( I can't spell rendevoos) , send a doctor over for a looksee, and then suggest you bury it at sea.... I don't see them taking it off your hands but who knows...
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:06   #64
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

The original post sugested more than 500 nms from the coast. So ideas of Tow Boat US, VHF, passing ships, helicopters are pretty superfluous. Also that that close coast would happen to be the good 'ol USA.

Maybe have a think about being more than 500 nms off the Brazilian coast, or more than 500nms off Indonesia, or the Galapagos.


Or 100 miles to leeward of the Canary Islands.

Their ain't nobody out there to help you, to take the stress and pain away. You need to deel with this and every other situation yourself. So forget doing a conference all of next of kin because unless its your wife you wont even know who they are.

Cruising is fun... But 500 miles plus means you gotta be a big boy and do your own stuff yourself.


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Old 05-08-2015, 07:14   #65
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

a few years ago there was a motor yacht out of san diego suffered a death on board . boats name was quiet heart. it was written about, and how to do it was included. i believe they wrote here in cf. could well be a search and find topic...
they radio'd the uscg and were brought into sd with a stop at the police operated muni docks. it was a biiig deal.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:15   #66
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
There are those on here, as I have on numerous occasions, smelt a deceased person. There is no ability to keep the deceased on board. No living human being would be able to stand it and the example someone gave of the lady who left the body on board and went to the dingy is an example of that. Anyone suggesting you would leave it on board has simply not been there. And oddly, there is something quite different to the smell of a human than that of an animal.

If someone dies on my vessel and I'm five hundred miles out then that to me would be justification for an epirb to be set off and a mayday. And I don't believe any rescue organisation would criticise it. I'm not qualified to declare someone dead for a start. With that sort of emergency response, you just might be able to get within reach of a rescue before needing to dispose of the body.

...
In college I had a part time job next to a hospital morgue...nothing stinks like a long dead human. Was there when they brought in a few murder victims whose bodies had not been discovered quickly...whew! Agree, no way that keeping the body on a small boat is a viable option.

I would not view a death as a MAYDAY situation. There is no emergency...they are dead. An EPIRB will illicit an emergency response, for nothing more than a body recovery. I think communication with authorities over SSB or other comm method would be a more appropriate response.

In many venues, a foreigner showing up under such circumstances would be seen as a golden opportunity by some. So, I would definately also contact the nearest embassy and discuss with them. I would feel much more comformtable if emabassy staff and/or legal representation were at hand for our landfall. An advantage of being a US Citizen is that we still have Embassys all over the place.

Contacting the Coasties could potentially be useful too. They patrol in many international venues (common here along the Central America coast). If they had a vessel nearby, or even on your planned route, they could potentially recover and stow the body. Having them come aboard, document the death, and handle it in a official capacity could alleviate a lot of headaches for you down the road. Showing up in port with a Coastie escort is likely to dramatically dampen any opportunistic plans by local authorities.

Another factor to consider is the deceased's survivors. For some, actually seeing the body helps with closure. Given that storing the body while far offshore on a small boat is not feasible, this might be a good subject to discuss with crews family members before departure and get their perspective.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:21   #67
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

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If you really think that you should keep the body on board and also have a freezer (common I believe on many cruising boats these days) then the answer is simple... just dismember the body and stow it in the freezer. At least nobody can accuse you of throwing them overboard...
Hmmm...showing up in port with a dismembered body in the freezer I suspect would generate some interesting reactions from local authorities. Not to mention, surviving family members. Butchering a human in your cockpit is going to make one hell of a mess. I vote for sliding them overboard with lots of documentation (easy these days with all the iDevices aboard).
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:30   #68
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Re: What to do - crew dies at sea?

a dead body is a health hazard no matter where it is stored.
once the death is reported, if close to shore, report to nearest port.
if out to sea, via ssb or other long range comm system, do what the authorities state for you to do , and do it to the letter. the death must be reported as soon as possible after the ocurrence
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