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Old 08-03-2014, 12:46   #76
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Re: What if.....There's a Death at Sea

Body bag, thats what I was thinking.
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Old 08-03-2014, 13:57   #77
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Re: What if.....There's a death at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"At sea, you are not in any legal jurisdiction, so there is no law, other than"
Not so. At sea, you are still subject to all the laws of your sovereign. And if any of those have to do with improper disposal, burial, etc. they will still apply to you in international waters.

Show up with one crew missing, anywhere in the world, and the odds are you and the vessel will be detained, or you will be told to stay in town, until an investigation has taken place. Much of the world still follows "guilty until proven innocent" so your next landfall could be an important choice.

Now on a more serious note, isn't dumping something that big overboard still a MARPOL violation?
On a less serious note - I guess I had better add a body bag to the grab bag
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Old 08-03-2014, 15:29   #78
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Re: What if.....There's a death at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Show up with one crew missing, anywhere in the world, and the odds are you and the vessel will be detained, or you will be told to stay in town, until an investigation has taken place. ?
Show up with a decomposing body on board and the result will be the same..... with the addition of having to live ashore while you try to get the stink out of your boat.
Then after the investigation is over they will give you back the body.... now what are you going to do with it?
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Old 08-03-2014, 15:36   #79
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Re: What if.....There's a Death at Sea

I'm not sure having a disposal plan in writing is that great of an idea. Authorities may question you a whole lot more if you come in with "signed" documents sayings sure dump me overboard. We've planned this ahead of time and now it has happened.

Assuming no foul play, odds are you can simply claim not to know what else to do and in despair at what to do, thought burial at sea made the most sense.

Gallows humor: I knew an elderly lady nearing the end who had an evil side. She loved to mess with people by talking about how her passing was going to happen, so no, it's not just the young.
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Old 11-03-2014, 18:04   #80
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Re: What if.....There's a death at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
On a less serious note - I guess I had better add a body bag to the grab bag

+1, I guess I should discuss this with hubby! 😚
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Old 11-03-2014, 18:37   #81
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Re: What if.....There's a Death at Sea

The most important thing to do is log the position and time of death and apparent cause into the logbook by the master of the vessel and reporting to the authorities as soon as possible ie nearest us consul if you are not in the US if you are so far from land that you cant keep the body also log the date time and position of the disposal into the log book with signatures of master and witnesses.

USCG MASTER MARINER
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Old 11-03-2014, 20:56   #82
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Re: What if.....There's a Death at Sea

Log book, do people actually use them?

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Old 11-03-2014, 21:44   #83
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Re: What if.....There's a Death at Sea

Jim does, and has all his logs for all the boats he's had since I've known him.

Ann
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:36   #84
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Re: What if.....There's a Death at Sea

Some of the posters have asked what happens if you cannot document the death and just report the person "missing." We had an actual case here off Florida when a husband, in what is described as an aftermath to a serious marital argument, took the boat out to sea to "cool off" by himself. The boat was found without him on board.

The result is the "7 year" wait according to Social Security Administration; or "5 years" for State of Florida purposes. So the surviving family has to wait for that period of time to elapse before the death can be legally finalized.

That brings up the question "before hand" for cruisers planning voyages as to how the nitty, gritty details are going to be handled and hopefully avoided so as to minimize this "Twilight Zone" between death and closing out the legal details. Not being able to close out the legal details can be really expensive both financially and psychologically for the survivor.

For instance, ownership of the boat and other real property of the "missing" person. Having - as Anne Cate and others - have mentioned documents that clearly and legally pass ownership to the survivor is, IMHO, very important. Especially if you are in a foreign country and they won't let the boat, etc., depart because the "owner" is not present.

Attention to detail is very important in such legal matters - e.g. in Florida the word "or" in a title means either party can sell whereas "and" means both parties must be present and in agreement. I think there is similar important wording for USCG Documentation as to who owns the boat and what can be done with it.

As to Simon V, post #62, I laughed so much it hurt - seriously as a person who has died and medically been brought back and currently under a rolling 3-month death sentence - if I take my experimental medicine, I continue to live - stop taking it or it stops being effective - and I die - that humorous situation was funny and the mental visualization a riot. Right on, about You-Tube. I use "gallows humor" to ease other people's unrest about being around me - if I can laugh about it, what's the big deal or something like that . . .
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Old 12-03-2014, 02:13   #85
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Re: What if.....There's a Death at Sea

Gallows humor is what kept me doing what I did for as long as I did. But in the end mind and body can only take so much. Losing a loved one at sea would be devastating but you would deal with it, what ever you did would be scrutinized and as long as it was deemed reasonable you should be safe.

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Old 03-04-2014, 13:48   #86
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Re: What if.....There's a Death at Sea

Not everyone that dies loses their bowels. Here is what to expect. Rigamortis doesn't last to long. The mouth and eyes are open a little bit the eye lids may or may not close eye lids normally stay open a little bit. Your body is a sealed bag as soon as you die you start to decompose and thst releases gases so after time you start to bloat or fill up like a balloon and once this happens and you try to move the body or drop it or catch it on something just like a balloon it pops. And it is a smell you will never forget. And you will smell it for 2 to 3 days even in fresh air. The person doubles in size. I would do three things. Contact home country. Contact the coast guard and contact the next port. Along with all of the photos mentioned above. I have handled 400 plus dead people in all different stages and conditions. After a few days depending on tempitures you will not be able to move them safely without expelling the gasses. Once your heart stops beating the blood begins to pool you will notice what looks like big red bruises in the lowest parts of the body.

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Old 03-04-2014, 14:23   #87
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Re: What if.....There's a Death at Sea

This is another argument in favour of Sat phones. I would call a RCC for advice and to provide authorities with a record.

AMVER may be able to coordinate a transfer of the body to a ship.
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Old 03-04-2014, 14:52   #88
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Re: What if.....There's a Death at Sea

While I've seen my share of death shoreside, only one experience at sea when driving a seineboat from Powell River to Stillwater, BC. Sitting in the pub in PR, we were approached by a grossly overweight native man who claimed he was an indian chief of a local band and wanted to hitch a ride down to Vancouver. I agreed to take him as far as we were going, not an uncommon request in those days (late 50's).
We had all had too much to drink but this guy was really beyond it. The crew got him aboard and put him down in the bunk in the wheelhouse. About 2:00 am I was driving the boat from atop the wheelhouse and out of the corner of my eye, saw this figure reach out for the handrail and slowly turn upside down. His head hit the heavy rail surrounding the bulwarks and he went overboard. I stopped the engines, came about and got the crew to get the skiff over the side. I got a searchlight on the body lying facedown in the water. The body was so heavy, the crew couldn't get it into the skiff so they pulled along side and we got a line around the body and hoisted it aboard with the power block.
I called the RCMP on the VHF and they met us a couple of hours later in Stillwater. They split us up, took statements and let us go after the Coroner took the body away. We had no log to enter the events in but because there were 4 of us, our testimony at the inquest sufficed to determine a finding of death by misadventure.
The moral of this story is if you are alone, best to document and write everything down as it happens... photos would be handy as well (no one had a camera in those days). If there are witnesses, make certain you all have the same story or you will be in for a lengthy interrogation.
When my wife and I were cruising, as well as having a living will that laid out what to do if one of us couldn't make decisions on our own, we also had a notarized letter as to what to do with our remains, who to notify and in what order, something that is important in some cultures and families.
IMO this is a pretty sensible thing to deal with before the fact. As we age, life becomes more problematic and anything can happen as we become more infirm and try and deal with the rigors of passagemaking. Phil
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Old 03-04-2014, 15:00   #89
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Re: What if.....There's a Death at Sea

I would just make sure to have some Fava beans in stores.....
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Old 03-04-2014, 15:16   #90
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Re: What if.....There's a Death at Sea

I've had to deal with 3 or was it 4 deaths aboard . I've buried all at "Sea". I've only ever sailed my boat on the Great Lakes so the 6hrs to shore was just too long for us to wait to dispose of the bodies... We never liked those guys anyways!
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