When people think of interment, the first thing that comes to mind is burial under the ground. However, some people would rather go home to where life began: the ocean.
Indeed, burials at sea provide one of the most dignified ways of saying goodbye to a loved one. In fact, many military personnel choose this form of burial over traditional internment. And perhaps because of its poetic nature, many notable people have also decided to get buried at sea as well:
The legendary director once said: “There is nothing quite so good as burial at sea. It is simple, tidy, and not very incriminating.” It’s not surprising, then, that Hitchcock would request to have his ashes scattered over the Pacific Ocean when he passed away in 1980. For a man who mastered creating drama on the big screen, no other sendoff is more fitting.
As the most famous soprano of all time, Maria Callas’ passing cast a pall on the entire world. Unfortunately, someone was so distraught by it that they decided to steal the urn of her remains at the Le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. Fortunately, the urn was recovered and La Divina was eventually delivered to her final resting place in the Aegean Sea.
The first man to step on the moon would eventually choose the sea as his final destination. The world-famous astronaut has his ashes scattered on September 14, 2012 in the Atlantic, aboard the USS Philippine Sea. The NAVY ceremonial guard were in attendance and the American flag was held over his remains in recognition of his contributions to the country.
Carradine is perhaps best known for playing the eponymous antagonist in Quentin Tarantino’s stylish Kill Bill movies. But unlike the aforementioned celebrities, he opted to be have a full body burial at sea, wherein his entire remains were lowered into Indian Sea.
Sea pirate Francis Drake was a lifelong lover of the ocean and made his name plying its waters. Upon his death, he was buried at sea in full armor and in a lead casket so that the Spanish would never find his body. 400 years later treasure hunters claimed to have located his two ships in the Caribbean, but they have yet to find the coffin of this legendary figure.
Of course, burials at sea are not reserved only for the notable and the famous. Companies like Schooner’s North offer this interment option to families who wish to send off their loved ones into the serene waters of the San Juan Islands on an 80-foot historic wooden schooner.
Water Burials, history.co.uk
Sir Francis Drake’s final fleet ‘discovered off the coast of Panama’, telegraph.co.uk