When your loved one chooses cremation and wants his or her ashes buried at sea, you'll have a bit of planning to do to fulfill his or her wishes. With the help of your funeral director, you can arrange the sea burial and a memorial service fitting of your relative. Here are a few things you'll need to know about planning a cremation burial at sea.
Follow Government Regulations You may need to follow certain local regulations regarding burials at sea, depending on where you are planning on scattering ashes. You'll also need to follow the EPA's regulations, which prohibit the use of materials that are not decomposable. The EPA has a permit available for those persons transporting human remains for burial at sea. Your funeral home director can help you with any paperwork you need to fill out for the sea burial.
Rent A Charter Boat Unless you have your own boat you will be using for the burial, you'll need to rent a boat for the trip. Be sure to have a list of people who will be attending the burial, as this will help you to determine the boat size you'll need. In some cases, the boat's captain may be able to serve as a chaplain for the burial service. Ask about this option and whether or not there is an additional charge for the services.
Select A Burial Container You'll want to decide whether you will simply scatter the ashes or if you want to use a burial urn. There are many sea-friendly burial urns you can select from. These options include urns that degrade over time, or for a more unique approach, consider a memorial reef. These are man-made reefs made with your loved one's ashes, which serve as a sanctuary for sea life. This is a wonderful option for someone who loved life on the water or who had strong feelings about caring for animals. Your funeral home director can help you to select a burial urn. If you prefer to scatter, have your funeral director help you select an urn to carry the ashes to the scattering site. Be sure to coordinate a date and time that works for everyone who will be attending, and have a backup plan for inclement weather. If you will need to travel to host the burial at sea, consider scheduling a few extra days at your hotel so you can ensure enough time to host the services if they need to be delayed due to weather.
If you have any questions about arranging your loved one's burial at sea, be sure to ask your funeral home director or a cremation service for assistance.