Rate this article:  

Table of contents

Gard Guidance Masters ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN

A. Emergency Contingency Plan
In all instances of death on board, the Master should make immediate reference to the vessel’s Emergency Contingency Plan.

B. Further actions to be taken

  • The Master should always consider seeking medical advice over the vessel’s radio or other means of communication to ascertain how to establish with certainty that the person is dead
  • the Master should seek instructions how to preserve the corpse – if such instructions are not part of the procedures under the vessel’s SMS
  • if the deceased is to be carried to the next port, the body should be kept cool in an empty reefer compartment
  • if preservation is not possible for whatever reasons, the Master should seek further instructions from the Company and the P&I insurer regarding
    – deviating to land the body ashore if close to the coast, or
    – burial at sea
  • the Company, the P&I insurer and the correspondent must be informed if the Master decides to deviate, enabling them to assist and inform the relevant authorities as required by the laws of the relevant country
  • if a burial at sea is permitted, the Master should seek advice from the P&I insurers or local correspondent concerning any religious requirements
  • if in port or at anchor, call a doctor and/or the local correspondents immediately, enabling them to assist and inform the authorities as required by the laws of that particular country
  • all medical radio messages exchanged prior to the death should be recorded
  • the Company should be contacted requesting that the next of kin be informed
  • all personal effects of the deceased should be recorded and packed, preferably in the presence of two officers, and delivered to the agent to be sent to the Company together with a copy of the inventory list, for forwarding to the next-of-kin
  • the correspondents should be requested to inform the deceased’s local consulate
  • replacement of the crew member should be considered.