More and more people are opting for civilian burials at sea every year. It is ideal for those who are looking for a unique way to commemorate the departed. If you’re considering one, it is recommended to know as much as you can about the process to make it truly special.
What To Avoid
In some parts of the world, there have been reports of bodies buried at sea that washed up near people, as well as in fishnets. This is why burials at sea are strictly regulated in US waters. It is vital to ensure that your ceremony will not lead to similar incidents months after. The only way to do this is by making sure to work a reputable company to help you with your preparations.
What to Expect
The process is fairly straightforward, but it does follow guidelines set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, the ceremony should be in accordance with the accepted practices and requirements of the United States Coast Guard, the United States Navy, or the civil authority that is tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the arrangement.
What to Prepare For
Remains buried at sea may be cremated or not, and there are specific conditions for each. Cremated remains can be buried with no regard to water depth, but the process has to be done at least three nautical miles away from the shore.
Human remains that are not cremated, on the other hand, should be buried no closer than three nautical miles away from land, and in water that is no less than six hundred feet deep, and within specified coordinates. The remains should sink to the bottom quickly and permanently. A certified undertaker will know what measures to take in this regard.
Other Pointers to Consider
Choose a comprehensive funeral plan. There are providers of services for burials at sea that take care of the whole process, from start to finish. They secure the necessary paperwork, as well as plan every detail of the burial. When choosing, make sure to ask questions about the information they are providing on anything you don’t quite understand. If you’re burying remains that have not been cremated, for instance, ask about the sort of accessories they will be using to comply with regulations.
Put together a personalized ceremony. Even if you are delegating the process to a company, it does not hurt to contribute your personal insights. After all, you know the departed more intimately than the company handling the burial. If you want to incorporate, say, wreaths or flowers, request the kinds that you know the departed would have liked. If you want music, curate the songs yourself. Personalizing the process will make it more memorable for everyone, as well as more fitting for your departed loved one.
How to Bury a Loved One in 4 Easy Steps, Newsfeed.TIME.com