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From Cradel To Grave, Refrigeration Technology is with most of us...

Updated: May 6, 2023

Who would have thought storing a dead body in a commercial beverage cooler, aboard a Cruise Ship, for approximately 6 days could end up causing such a horrific outcome?



To get to the very cold and hard truth of the story, a widow claims, through a $1 million dollar lawsuit, her deceased husband's body, stored in the Ship's morgue could have decayed so badly that he had to be buried without the authenticity, and civility of a traditional Open Casket ceremony.


Just say'n... as a former licensed, certified refrigeration mechanic / contractor / College Professor for the diploma, degree, & apprenticeship programs of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, I always find these stories... fascinating.


What happened? How could a body decay in a certified, fully functional Morgue?


First, a certified morgue refrigeration storage system, whether in freezer, or cooler mode can safely store human remains for an indefinite period of time. Charles Manson died in 2017. His remains were kept in a city morgue for more than 4 months while the State, his Grandson, and other Institutions argued over where his remains, or parts of his remains should be distributed, and/or cremated. That is an insane story all on it's own and for another time.


Second, it was later revealed the body was not placed in the ship's morgue but rather one of the ships beverage coolers. What? Sorry, say that again? They stored the body in a beverage cooler... Hahahahah. Well, first off there would be ZERO complaints from the deceased body. But what I want to know is, what was the reason(s), or excuse(s) for doing so, and what brilliant mind thought this one through?


Quick side note... the Beverage Cooler? Ok... so it's kept at 38f/4c so storage and severe decay may not be a concern if the "cooler" were sanitized and void of all beverages... like... beer, or more specifically, kegs of draft beer where the change out of kegs may see leakage of "beer vapour" into the cooler air environment where a mixing of those chemicals with... ummm... "human meat - liquids of the body - I mean, how bad could it be... being stored next to your favourite refreshment for eternity?


Back to the story... So the dude "Died at Sea" and the wife was given two options...


Option One: the ship drops them off at the nearest port. Puerto Rico was the closest where "they" could depart, make travel / burial arrangements. The cruise would continue.


Option 2: store the body IN the ships certified morgue, and depart when they return to home port, Miami, Florida - in 6 days.


The widow chose Option 2.


My only remaining questions now are; strictly from a comedic point of view.


So, what did she do for 6 days?


Grieve? "My poor Cedric. Booo, hoooo, hooooo... we worked all of our lives, raised 5 children, all successful in their own right, lot's of grandchildren, a tight family, we are beyond fit financially, Cedric just sold 80% of his shares in a company he built from scratch, our health was excellent, I don't understand, a heart attack? This was our gateway vacation to full retirement. Oh what will I do without you, my dear Cedric" ....


or...


PARTY! "I dunno what's next for me? My lawyer reminded me of this... Life is Short, "till death do we part"... I did my part. Deal met. Ciao Ciao. ???


Then there was this hysterical singing... "Ding-Dong the BITCH is DEAD, hit his head and now he's dead, Ding-Dong the phucking BITCH is DEAD!?" "Hey, cabin boy? I may not have done this for quite sometime, but I need me some "NEW DI&K", nah wha I'm say'n?" ROOM SERVICE...


For the next 6 days, there are daily announcements asking for assistance from all souls on-board if they've seen these 2 people: an athletically, slim built young male crew member, and a distraught, mature, female yoga instructor travelling in first class? Anyone at all?


Did the "dead dude" get a whiff of the draft beer kegs and somehow become revived, partied, then died in his own vomit, which after days in the cooler aided in his hideous decay???


At post time, I have no further information as to how, why, when, where, or what happened to decay the body.... other than.... wait a minute.


OMG.... the body developed a yeast infection?


Whichever the case, the principles of refrigeration are with us from the time we're born, the incubator, until death do we part, stored in the morgue awaiting autopsy, and then release for final burial preparations. The coolest industry ever.


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Refrigeration / Air Conditioning


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