Deceased Grandpa/Mid at Sea

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by KingsPtMom2014, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. KingsPtMom2014

    KingsPtMom2014 Member

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    My wife's father died yesterday. DS is somewhere in the Pacific. Anyone have experience with this?

    Funeral is Saturday. I'm thinking he probably can't make it, right? Too bad. The Old Man was part of his inspiration for going to USMMA. He was accepted and appointed back in '61, but failed the physical.
     
  2. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Sorry to hear about the loss to your family. You have my prayers in this regard.

    One of the toughest things about a life at sea is missing many of life's milestones. I was lucky enough to be home for the birth of both of my kids, but missed many a family Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is the nature of the business.
     
  3. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    I'm also sorry to hear about your family's loss. I lost my father while I was at sea. We were about a day out of Oakland bound for Guam when I got the news. The nine days remaining in that leg of the voyage were among the most difficult of my career. I didn't make it to the funeral. My family buried my dad the day we took arrival in Apra.. As cmakin said it is one of the tougher realities of going to sea.
     
  4. USNA1982BGO

    USNA1982BGO Retired Staff Member

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    Contact the American Red Cross. They are able to get word to service members. Though times like this are tough, the chances of him being brought back for the funeral are very slim. Our service member lost her grandfather while on patrol and was not able to make it home but the Red Cross was able to contact her and she did get a chance to phone home.
     
  5. MarinerMom2011

    MarinerMom2011 Member

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    Send your son an email. The ship should have a satellite phone that the captain would probably let him make a call home on.
     
  6. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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    My DS lost his grandfather during sea year as well and I understand what you are going through. We contacted the Chaplain's office at KP and they got the message to his ship. The Captain and The Chief Engineer sat him down and delivered the news. Unfortunately the ship was undergoing maintenance in The Philippines at the time and the logistics of getting him home were insurmountable. Just getting him to Manila would have been hard enough, the plane ride home would have taken longer than the mortician was comfortable with. I am sorry for your loss and I hope you have a better outcome
     
  7. Prudent Mariner

    Prudent Mariner Member

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    My condolences for your loss. My paternal grandfather passed away when I was on my second class sea year. His passing coincided with the end of my assignment to my last ship as a cadet, so I was able to arrive home on the morning of his funeral. I have a feel for what you are going through.

    As others have said, this is one of the hard parts about going to sea.

    The ship will not divert from the intended voyage for this situation.

    I assume that you have been able to notify your DS via email or satellite telephone about the situation. If not, contact KP so that the ATR can assist you with the notification. The ship should have some type of satellite telephone so that your DS can speak to you. Also, find out what the policy is for repatriating midshipmen in these situations.

    MSC and the Navy use the American Red Cross to verify family emergencies for deployed mariners. This verification is helpful for the ship in making the decision to repatriate someone from overseas. Contact the local chapter and they will have info on what their policy is for this type of notification. I don't know if they can send notification to a commercial ship or not.

    If the ship's schedule lines up correctly so that travel home for the funeral is an option, then the ship can start having their agent in the port in question arrange for travel before the ship gets into port, if that is what you decide to do.

    When faced with these situations on the ship, I will usually say "the outfit has 50 ships and you have one family. Take care of your family first. The ships will still be out here when you return."
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The Coast Guard also uses the American Red Cross.
     
  9. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    What would your mid want?

    Not sure about the notification. Unlikely that your mid can come back.

    When my brother went off to sea, he told my parents, "No bad news" while he was gone on a tough, lonely voyage. We lost a close and beloved grandparent while he was gone, and held the news until he came back - much easier for him to absorb it then and mourn with us, even if belatedly.
     
  10. KingsPtMom2014

    KingsPtMom2014 Member

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    Thanks To All

    We called the chaplain, who got word to the captain, who let DS call home on sat phone. Tough conversation. Like y'all said, it's part of the life he's chosen.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  11. bugsy

    bugsy Member

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    Sorry for Your loss

    I lost my Grandpa while deployed during Desert Storm.

    Red Cross will arrange emergency leave for loss of an immeadiate family member, grandparents dont count as immeadiate. Just dont want you to get your hopes up that DS will return for the funeral.

    I choke up as I write this: But then again, what would Grandpa want. I bet he would be most proud to have his Grandson at sea.
     

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