Recoveryburial at sea

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AL Glover

Jun 4, 2002
hello all hope that you are well, with all the bodies that were recovered & given a burial at sea,
just curious,
if the bodies were placed in canvas bags & weighted down,(to sink)in the area of the "SHIP',
(A) wouldn't these bodies also be crushed into "nothing" at they fell toward the floor bed?
(B) has anyone ever bothered or has seen any of these body bags around the site?
(C) or would these canvas bags 'litterally' be crushed into nothing but a cple of threads when they landed on the ocean floor?

Inger Sheil

Feb 9, 1999
By 'area of the ship', I assume you mean the Titanic, Al? If so, it is extremely unlikely that they were dropped at the exact co-ordinates that she sank. Bodies had drifted before recovery. The chances of happening to come across any of these remains - even if there was much left of the canvas bags - is extremely remote.

The effects of pressure on human remains have been discussed elsewhere on this board. The human body is already largely liquid, and liquid is non-compressible. It is body cavities that would be affected by the pressure (lungs, sinus cavities, etc). A good deal depends, I suspect on how rapidly they descended to the sea floor - rupturing of blood vessels would have filled some of the cavities. Neither the canvas bags nor the bodies themselves could be 'crushed', unless there were spaces filled with compressible gas within them. Canvas might experience some slight compression, but probably not enough to be even measurable. There are still fragments of other material in the wreck itself, but as the canvas bags would be unprotected on the sea floor, I suggest they would have long since disappeared due. Other items - certain types of metal objects, treated leather shoes - might still be out there, somewhere on the seafloor. The odds of finding these, however, are probably very slim indeed.

Ben Holme

Feb 11, 2001
Hi Al,

I need not expound further on Inger's detailed post above, but in regards to:

"(B) has anyone ever bothered or has seen any of these body bags around the site?"

The only remnant of the sea burials likely to be be encountered are the lead weights used to consign each body to the depths.
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