Burial at Sea

Part 1

Burials at sea are a tradition steeped in history. But it is also a tradition open to more than just sailors and those who have spent their lives on the water. Burial at sea is available to people of all walks of life , and it is done in a wide variety of ways. In some cases, the sea burial is done using cremation ashes and a specially made biodegradable urn; in others a weight is attached to the foot of a shrouded body which is then ceremonially dropped overboard from a ship; and still in others, a body is placed in a very heavy casket and lowered into the water from a boat. And, while famous celebrities such as Robin Williams and Dick Clark have indeed been buried at sea, the tradition is open to anyone. A special attraction to sea burial for many people is that a funeral director need not necessarily be involved and, in fact, so long as a certified ship captain is aboard, the burial need not meet any special requirements. In cases in which cremation ashes are scattered over a body of water, even the requirement of a captain is not necessary in most jurisdictions. The scattering can be based on a shoreline, even, making use of a boat unnecessary. We have assembled a brief list of topics that will be of interested in burial at sea.

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