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News Forum - Family pleas for help repatriating British man who died in Thailand


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On 12/12/2021 at 10:26 AM, Cathat said:

Don't recall ever seeing travel insurance for tourists that includes shipping a body back to the home country.

Air freighting a corpse is a pretty involved and expensive procedure even in normal times.

In all the policies I've ever bought, "repatriation of remains" is standard.

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On 12/12/2021 at 2:29 PM, NCC1701A said:

why do people feel it is necessary to do this? 

leave his body here. it is not him after all. he is long gone from the Earth plane. 

Having attended several family funerals in recent years three of which were delayed by autopsies, the thing that has always affected me most, is that personal grief is prolonged and only diminishes when the funeral ends.

Older Brits will be well aware of what was known as, "The winter of discontent" in 1978/79. Council workers in many of the UK's 400+ local councils went on strike. These included grave diggers in Council owned cemeteries. For years after this, at every election, the Tories kept reminding the electorate of that event pointing out the heartlessness of trade unionists affiliated to the Labour party who not let the dead be buried. Though it was true that this did happen, it only occurred in two areas. But to listen to the Tories talking about this, one was left thinking that there was standing room only in the nation's mortuaries.

I had a brother who died just over 4 years ago, who required an autopsy. It took 11 days  for this to be done. Apart from a lack of of available pathologists and the seasonal increase in deaths that were exacerbated by this lack, we discovered that the delay was because there was a pecking order as to how quickly someone was someone was autopsied. Priority was given to suspicious deaths. Next were Muslim and Jews, where religious considerations require that they be interred as quickly as possible. After that everyone was dealt in order of date of arrival in the morgue.

It took another seven days to do the funeral. That was 18 days the whole family had to put their lives on hold.

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3 hours ago, JohninDublin said:

In all the policies I've ever bought, "repatriation of remains" is standard.

Yes but do they state corpse's or urns full of ashes?

Big difference in cost to the insurers in normal times and also bear in mind standard global air freight rates are up about 400-500 percent at present.

My policys were provide by my employers and we had death in service cover that did cover shipping a corpse back to your country of choice if you chose to do so.

We also kept airfreight approved hematicaly sealed metal caskets in various parts of the globe fortunately not used to often.

It ain't at all cheap or simple to ship a corpse on an intercontinental flight and that will not be wasted on the insurers.

I'm not convinced they do cover shipping  corpse's about the globe on many policies particularly the cheap ones issued in the UK but I don't know for sure.

I consider it impractical and the only reason I can really see for doing it is if it somebody practising a religious faith that requires such actions and that is fairly unlikely in this case.

I was involved in shipping a corpse from Birmingham to cork many years ago to comply with the deceased express wishes to be returned to his village on the west coast of Ireland.

It was a very troublesome and expensive exercise even using air Lingus who are quite used to such operations.

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6 minutes ago, Cathat said:

It ain't at all cheap or simple to ship a corpse on an intercontinental flight and that will not be wasted on the insurers.

It's a nightmare for families who refuse cremation or are unable to go that route.  I had to arrange a repatriation from Greece to UK as no cremations are done in Greece and the family did not want the body transported to Macedonia for cremation  ... 3 caskets, including the hermetically sealed one and 2 KLM flights ... including a 24 hour layover in Amsterdam for security (ensure no bomb in casket??) ... very very expensive and distressing to all involved.  Don't even ask about the paperwork! 🥴

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Cremation here is not quite the same as back home (UK)

The wifes father passed in January this year and it was the first time I  had had to attend every day, instead of one or two. I found it quite dramatic and surprising when the crematorium staff doused the inside of the coffin with petrol and pushed it into the furnace. He had the foresight to ask all the people close up to squat down so they could no longer see the body.

The day after the cremation we attended in the morning for the bone collection. I found this quite upsetting. The remains were on a steel tray and the monk picked 7 or 8 small pieces of  bone and put them in the urn. Each family member did the same. What really shocked me was that the 95%+ of what was left was uncermoniously dumped in a pit behind the crematorium, on top of all the previous remains.

Not sure what I expected but it was definitely not what I actually experienced.

The family of this guy may not like the idea if they knew the details

 

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On 12/12/2021 at 5:55 PM, dimitri said:

That sounds like a typical American insurance. There are many health insurance companies  that cover everything (where I come from ALL health insurances cover everything) , including pre existing conditions. And travel insurances always cover repatriation of remains.

Don't bring American insurance companies into this. The alleged guy was a Brit. Most likely a British policy.

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1 minute ago, Saltire said:

Cremation here is not quite the same as back home (UK)

The wifes father passed in January this year and it was the first time I  had had to attend every day, instead of one or two. I found it quite dramatic and surprising when the crematorium staff doused the inside of the coffin with petrol and pushed it into the furnace. He had the foresight to ask all the people close up to squat down so they could no longer see the body.

The day after the cremation we attended in the morning for the bone collection. I found this quite upsetting. The remains were on a steel tray and the monk picked 7 or 8 small pieces of  bone and put them in the urn. Each family member did the same. What really shocked me was that the 95%+ of what was left was uncermoniously dumped in a pit behind the crematorium, on top of all the previous remains.

Not sure what I expected but it was definitely not what I actually experienced.

The family of this guy may not like the idea if they knew the details

That must have been in a high class area .

In "my " village , they just have a bunch of logs and the body is placed on that (without a casket) and petrol is put onto the body , making sure the eye sockets are full and the wood set alight , and attendees watch the corpse burn and three days later , close family go back and pick the bones out the ashes 

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13 minutes ago, Fluke said:

That must have been in a high class area .

In "my " village , they just have a bunch of logs and the body is placed on that (without a casket) and petrol is put onto the body , making sure the eye sockets are full and the wood set alight , and attendees watch the corpse burn and three days later , close family go back and pick the bones out the ashes 

This was in my village which I always think is half way between poor and well-off. I am very surprised they still do that, is the nearest wat with a furnace miles away?

Makes mine seem like a walk in the park cremation-wise!

Thanks for the post.

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19 minutes ago, Saltire said:

Cremation here is not quite the same as back home (UK)

The wifes father passed in January this year and it was the first time I  had had to attend every day, instead of one or two. I found it quite dramatic and surprising when the crematorium staff doused the inside of the coffin with petrol and pushed it into the furnace. He had the foresight to ask all the people close up to squat down so they could no longer see the body.

I experienced similar here in CM at a local 'crematorium', despite the existence of an modern electric one in the city,

Same as you witnessed, dousing body with accelerant and when logs/kindling didn't quite catch 1st time they nearly tipped the body out when lifting one side to add more kindling.  As we left the site I noticed smoke had ceased to exit the chimney ... a poor show all round!

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On 12/12/2021 at 12:53 PM, HolyCowCm said:

Saving to stay here for the winter? Where is all his money? Credit or debit card? I am sorry but stuff like this makes us foreingers look bad and will put us long timers here jumping through stupid hoops because of these types of visititor money problems. Sorry to hear of his demise but very sad this even makes the news which will defintely be another stick on our camels back.

Yes, strange. Sorry about this guy but what about all the money the story says he had saved? 

Edited by Fester
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49 minutes ago, Saltire said:

Cremation here is not quite the same as back home (UK)

The wifes father passed in January this year and it was the first time I  had had to attend every day, instead of one or two. I found it quite dramatic and surprising when the crematorium staff doused the inside of the coffin with petrol and pushed it into the furnace. He had the foresight to ask all the people close up to squat down so they could no longer see the body.

The day after the cremation we attended in the morning for the bone collection. I found this quite upsetting. The remains were on a steel tray and the monk picked 7 or 8 small pieces of  bone and put them in the urn. Each family member did the same. What really shocked me was that the 95%+ of what was left was uncermoniously dumped in a pit behind the crematorium, on top of all the previous remains.

Not sure what I expected but it was definitely not what I actually experienced.

The family of this guy may not like the idea if they knew the details

Our friend died off covid a couple of months ago. After wat cremation in Bkk the ashes were just chucked in the klong. Probably afraid they were still contagious, or bad luck

Edited by Sarisin
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56 minutes ago, Saltire said:

This was in my village which I always think is half way between poor and well-off. I am very surprised they still do that, is the nearest wat with a furnace miles away?

Makes mine seem like a walk in the park cremation-wise!

Thanks for the post.

Although TBF, I did see that a few years ago and when I recently went back to the village I did notice they had built a crematorium on the site of the funeral pyre location , and fortunately I haven't been to a funeral there since , so, maybe the village now has a proper crematorium .

   I recall that a poor family bought a body to the pyre site carrying the body on a mattress and they placed the mattress and body onto the logs and set fire to it all 

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1 hour ago, Fluke said:

That must have been in a high class area .

In "my " village , they just have a bunch of logs and the body is placed on that (without a casket) and petrol is put onto the body , making sure the eye sockets are full and the wood set alight , and attendees watch the corpse burn and three days later , close family go back and pick the bones out the ashes 

The first Thai cremation I went to was in Kalasin, in a village the middle of nowhere (no temple or even or even a shop) they had the same bonfire affair.
I remember being told that sometimes as the corpse burnt, it appeared to sit up (due to the muscles contracting I think?). It scared the locals every time it happened.

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1 hour ago, Fester said:

Yes, strange. Sorry about this guy but what about all the money the story says he had saved? 

That is exactly what I am referring to. Take his ATM or bank card and swipe it through the machine.

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Bit more thread drift while we're all at it.in the 80s in bangkok

I saw a big ornate klong jar with a small shrine in a friend's house and asked what it was.

turned out her great grandmother was in it!

They were waiting for an auspicious date provided by the monks to cremate her.

The jar sat on a sturdy table and a drip bowl was hidden in a curtained off area underneath it that was emptied regularly of body fluids.

There were no bad smells and I would imagine granny probably burnt very well come the auspicious day.

They are very wealthy thai chinese people and I think it was/is common practice.

Nobody batted an eyelid about it that's for sure.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Bluesofa said:

The first Thai cremation I went to was in Kalasin, in a village the middle of nowhere (no temple or even or even a shop) they had the same bonfire affair.
I remember being told that sometimes as the corpse burnt, it appeared to sit up (due to the muscles contracting I think?). It scared the locals every time it happened.

If that was my Mother in law who sat up , I would go and chuck another log on .

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2 hours ago, KaptainRob said:

It's a nightmare for families who refuse cremation or are unable to go that route.  I had to arrange a repatriation from Greece to UK as no cremations are done in Greece and the family did not want the body transported to Macedonia for cremation  ... 3 caskets, including the hermetically sealed one and 2 KLM flights ... including a 24 hour layover in Amsterdam for security (ensure no bomb in casket??) ... very very expensive and distressing to all involved.  Don't even ask about the paperwork! 🥴

I fully sympathize with you

I assume insurance want to ship ashes/remains not body as thats infinitely cheaper

As a travel /tour ops manager here I Had to retrieve a body in Southern Laos ship by car/minivan to Vientiane then  Bangkok to Vancouver

it was about 20 years ago the lack of sleep logistics and paperwork still scars me

Edited by poohy
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1 hour ago, Fluke said:

That must have been in a high class area .

In "my " village , they just have a bunch of logs and the body is placed on that (without a casket) and petrol is put onto the body , making sure the eye sockets are full and the wood set alight , and attendees watch the corpse burn and three days later , close family go back and pick the bones out the ashes 

Yep. But that is sort of more fun than a cement oven if you ask me.

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6 hours ago, Cathat said:

Yes but do they state corpse's or urns full of ashes?

Big difference in cost to the insurers in normal times and also bear in mind standard global air freight rates are up about 400-500 percent at present.

My policys were provide by my employers and we had death in service cover that did cover shipping a corpse back to your country of choice if you chose to do so.

We also kept airfreight approved hematicaly sealed metal caskets in various parts of the globe fortunately not used to often.

It ain't at all cheap or simple to ship a corpse on an intercontinental flight and that will not be wasted on the insurers.

I'm not convinced they do cover shipping  corpse's about the globe on many policies particularly the cheap ones issued in the UK but I don't know for sure.

I consider it impractical and the only reason I can really see for doing it is if it somebody practising a religious faith that requires such actions and that is fairly unlikely in this case.

I was involved in shipping a corpse from Birmingham to cork many years ago to comply with the deceased express wishes to be returned to his village on the west coast of Ireland.

It was a very troublesome and expensive exercise even using air Lingus who are quite used to such operations.

https://www.insubuy.com/visitors-insurance-return-of-mortal-remains/

Greetings compadre. 

I've probably bought about 8-10 annual policies in recent years, and they have all carried that benefit. In fact, that was my primary concern in obtaining insurance in the first place. I didn't want my wife to be saddled with this bill.

Just to go further, many policies also contain medical repatriation benefits too.

Employers will often seek the cheapest option in providing employee insurance. If it's something that concerns you can ask your employer to have these benefit added at your own expense. It would not cost you a great deal. Maybe €25 a year each max.

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1 hour ago, Rain said:

Ticket prices are much more reasonable as well.

Since he seemed to be a drinker, I suggest putting donation boxes on the counter at the British themed pubs. If that fails a surcharge per drink say 5 or 10 baht could be charged. Drinkers wouldn't mind helping one of their own. 

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On 12/14/2021 at 11:03 AM, LoongFred said:

Since he seemed to be a drinker, I suggest putting donation boxes on the counter at the British themed pubs. If that fails a surcharge per drink say 5 or 10 baht could be charged. Drinkers wouldn't mind helping one of their own. 

Come on Fred. Give the drinkers a break.

Try to think of boozing like gay marriage. It may not be "your thing", but as long as it's not compulsory, why should you care?

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