Full Body Ocean-Friendly Burials at Sea
Full body burial at sea ceremonies are full day charters out of the port of your choice. Full body burial cruises typically travel 35 miles out to sea to 600′ of water aboard a 65′ – 125′ Yacht that carries up to 149 passengers with indoor seating for 25, and a snack bar. Depending on the port of call, larger vessels may be available to accommodate groups of up to 400 people.
In the Boston Area, Full Body Burials at Sea cruises most often depart from Plymouth, Massachusetts. Please visit our National Service Area Locations page and contact Captain Brad to find out if Full Body Burials at Sea are available out of a port near you.
Licensed Funeral DIrectors must be present at all Full Body Burials at sea and we will happily work with the funeral director of your choosing.
See a Photo Slideshow of a Full Body Burial at Sea ( Link Opens New Window )
Full body burials at sea meet all required USCG safety regulations. Full Body Burial at Sea Rates Include:
- Use of the deep-sea-capable Yacht. All required USCG safety gear aboard. Full size bathrooms, generator for 110V for music and or video systems, beverages including beer / wine available on board.
- Crew for accepting prepared shroud (Strapped, weighted and identified from Funeral director).
- Overnight Crewman aboard, posted on watch near casket, prior to service leaving dock if necessary.
- Morning departure is typical as we travel 4 – 45 – 90 miles to sea to 600′ of water, Captain’s service (up to 30 minutes), travel back to Port.
- All licensing, insurance and permitting with the EPA.
- Fully insured with Vessel insurance and operator’s liability insurance.
Natural Burial Shrouds Available.
The EPA requires that any coffin used in a Full Body Burial at Sea must be modified by a licensed funeral director. These modifications include drilling and weighting and add to the cost of a an already expensive casket.
New England Burials at Sea offers environmentally friendly and more affordable alternatives in our Traditional Natural Burial Shroud and our own proprietary Atlantic Burial Shroud which we designed specifically for the modern burial at sea.
Natural Burial Shroud
The natural burial shroud is a traditional, dignified and more environmentally friendly way to commit a loved one’s remain to the majestic ocean. It is also an affordable means of conveyance when compared with wooden or steel caskets.
Atlantic and Pacific® Burial Shroud
The Atlantic and Pacific® Burial Shroud was designed as an affordable, respectful, environmentally-safe alternative to wooden and steel caskets for use during full body burials at sea. It maintains the traditional casket shape, can be partially unzipped with for “open casket” viewing and includes a memory pouch for a photograph of your loved one. It is weighted with traditional cannonballs (165 lbs) created by the same blacksmiths that forge the ceremonial cannonballs for the oldest commissioned warship on the planet the U.S.S Constitution, “Old Ironsides”
Special Funeral Director Note
EPA regulations require that if possible only non-toxic chemicals are used in preparation of a body for Full Body Burial at Sea. Please let your funeral director know in advance of your Full Body Burial at Sea plans. Click Here to Learn More About EPA Regulations Regarding Full Body Burials at Sea.
|Answers to Full Body Burial at Sea Frequently Asked Questions|
|What time of year are you open for Burials at Sea? We offer year round services. Description: We perform full body burials on larger vessels out of larger ports such as Boston, San Francisco CA, Long Beach, CA, Wildwood, NJ, Miami and others so please inquire. We also offer ash scatterings.
A recent Full Body burial at sea can be seen at:http://www.photoshow.com/watch/KZ4df7gx
What types of boats? Typically power and we offer many different vessels ranging in size from 33 feet to 150 feet and can accommodate up to four hundred people. For safety, all of our boats are fully insured and piloted by a Coast Guard licensed captain & certified crew. An additional fee may apply to travel to specific destinations significantly beyond our south shore of Boston office or outside of our established network. We can typically relocate the proper vessel to any port with advance planning.
Do I need a funeral director? Yes for a full body arrangement. No if you’re loved one is already cremated.
We are not funeral directors. We are maritime planners and can recommend many funeral directors who are sea burial certified.
What does “Sea burial certified” mean? The Funeral director or captain has gone through a detailed training session and is aware and trained on many laws, methods, rules, regulations and safety areas that pertain to burials at sea. It is not a state or federal regulation but more of a “how do deliver a white glove, safe and effective event” type of training achievement.
Do you use a casket? Not a wood or metal one—we use the Atlantic Sea Burial Shroud® that we manufacture out of durable organic cotton so that it completely bio degrades in 3-6 months. We believe that if a body is preserved to withstand the rigors of the sea environment in a made solid casket that the likelihood of it being dredged up later is high (As has happened before) therefore we only use ocean friendly organic materials. This shroud can also be used in a place of worship prior to the sea burial ceremony.
Can the family attend? You bet. As we are a private company and not the US Navy we encourage family and friends to attend.
How far to sea do you go? The federal requirement is at least three miles and at least 600’ of water which from Maine to MD can be 35 – 90 miles to sea. Some areas in northern Florida require 1,800 ft of water. We typically exceed all federal requirements.
How does the cannon ball weight system work? We have designed our Atlantic Sea Burial Shroud to have a separate cannon ball chamber from the body. We load the shroud with four oversized cannon balls that weigh almost 40 lbs each which means we exceed the federal requirement of 150lbs. This is important to make sure that the body stays where deployed. After all has biodegraded, the cannon balls create their own reef which fish and marine life appreciate.
Will I move around on the ocean floor? We hope not! However, we are not sure about how hurricane force currents could apply.
How long does it take to decompose in the ocean? According to the experts (US Navy, FBI and Funeral directors) about three – six months.
Do I have to be embalmed? Discuss with your funeral director but generally no if there is no inter state transportation or formal viewing or contagious disease situation.
How much does it cost? Will vary from port to port but generally for an attended event $9,750 for the vessel, crew, professional maritime services, $1,750 for the Sea Burial Shroud, $350 for ballast weight + Crew admin and any catering or other food or refreshments for your guests as we will be to sea for 4-6 hours. We supply waters and sodas. If we have to go 90 miles off shore (NY to MD) there is a slight fuel surcharge
Can I prepay? Yes, through your funeral home. We are not funeral directors and are not set up for managing deposits over a long period of time. If you want to prepay for a “post need” event next week or next month, of course.
What is Military Free Burial at Sea? Burial at sea is not just a tradition that was practiced by the Navy of old. It is a means of final disposition of cremains and intact remains that is offered to and still utilized by active duty, retired, and honorable veterans of all branches of the United States military. Military Burial at sea services are performed while the vessel is on official maneuvers. Therefore, it is impossible for the family to be present. The family will be notified by the commanding officer of that vessel of the date time, longitude, and latitude of the committal service. Contact the US Government for details.
Reservation Details: A 50% deposit reserves the boat / necessary crew for your date and time for up to six hours. We also have a 98% full pay option if paid more than two weeks before departure. All fees are paid and cleared before departure. All of the arrangements can be made by telephone fax or email. An additional fee may apply to travel to specific destinations significantly beyond our south shore of Boston office. We can typically relocate the proper vessel to any port with advance planning.
DEPOSITS: Booking Deposit required to hold a date & receipt of deposit monies acknowledges POLICY acceptance. 50% Deposit with reservation. 50% Deposit shall be due/payable 5 days before sailing. Most Credit Cards Accepted as well as Pay Pal, bank checks and wires.
Cancellation Policy: Cancellation Policy: Day of sailing 25% refundable, within three days of sailing 35% of deposit is refundable. Within 4-14 days of sailing 50% refundable, within 21 days of sailing 75% refundable, within 30 days of sailing 100% refundable
WEATHER POLICY: Your safety and enjoyment at sea is our prime area of focus and responsibility. Should poor weather be forecasted or occur during your charter period, the Captain reserves the right to cancel and/or postpone a sailing for the safety of the passengers and crew. Deposits are 100% refundable in this instance. If the charter has commenced and poor weather eventually rolls in, a mutually acceptable pro rated cost adjustment share of the total fee will be charged, with a minimum fee of $250.
The We Promise 100 % SATISFACTION GUARANTEE POLICY: We guarantee your complete satisfaction, if you are not pleased; the Captain will make it right to your liking. We promise.
CHECKS: There will be a $25.00 service charge for any checks returned by the bank.
What is included in the price?Our quoted pricing includes, the vessel, fuel, taxes, soft drinks, quoted time portal to portal (We journey at least three miles from shore) vessel captain, the steering captain and our services for the arrangements, planning and sea tribute, six signed and sealed burial certificates, EPA permit filings, a suggested order of service and an “e-book” of poems and readings you might like to look through and consider for your sea tribute, Eight-Bells End of watch blessing, Ships Horn while circling flower field, waters sodas, ice and soft drinks are provided.
The quoted price does not include, food, flowers, urns, parking, music, photography.
Do you have available options? Yes for photography, video, catering, music etc. Just ask us and we will send you a price list.
Do you have references? We sure do and are happy to share them from Funeral home recommendations to individual family recommendations.
While at sea, the captain is the sole authority aboard…At sea leadership is very important for the comfort of passengers and the safe running of a vessel while at sea. Social input is always welcome. The captain will be in command at all times of the vessel. What the captain says happens. Enjoy your voyage and be sure to sign the guest book! Restricted Items (What Not To Bring): Not allowed on board: Illegal substances (non prescription drugs & illicit drugs) or weapons of any kind are to be brought aboard the boat.
Violators will be returned to the dock immediately and the trip cancelled without refund.
Is the vessel Handicap Accessible?
Yes, within limits—and many larger vessels are fairly easy to board (allow an extra half hour at boarding).
Do we have to go 9-45-90 miles to sea? Yes to get to 600+ feet of water. Distance depends on port of departure
Are you insured? Yes by a top rated company.
Are you licensed? Yes, USCG Master Merchant Mariner, 100 Gross Tons, Towing and Sail – Near Coastal, License # USA 000012723, Mariner # 2724307
Is there a bathroom aboard? Yes and we call it a “head”
What happens if Uncle Fred is late because he is lost in finding the dock? The ship departs and sails on time. Our schedule is much lime a commercial airliner. We do offer additional unscheduled time on an hourly rate of $200 -$800 per hour based on vessel. Be sure to ask us about our “Door to shore®” livery program to help alleviate that type of situation in getting all passengers to the and from the vessel safely and on time.
What’s for breakfast or lunch?Light refreshments are provided. Depending on your package selection, you can bring your own snacks, or hearty box lunches can be provided.
What about Alcohol? Responsible Beer and wine consumption are allowed and within reason and ask details if the ship has a cash bar or if BYOB…
Can we bring music on CD’s on an IPod? You bet—we have a portable system with remote control for playback and we also have available an optional bagpiper-notice is required for scheduling.
Can we take pictures and or video? Yes and we encourage it and the captain will take a family shot for you and we also have photography packages available.
How do we dress for the event aboard? We suggest casual, with a wind breaker, light colored comfortable non slip shoes and you may leave the high heels at home while at sea.
Do I need to bring any special gear? Please see What to Bring for more specifics on personal clothing and gear needs.
Do people generally get sea sick? No if they follow our sea tradition instructions.
Planning your Trip. Pre Boarding… What to Bring and Do…
Where do we meet the vessel? Exact location to be advised.
How do I get to the boat? Exact location to be advised.
What local accommodations do you recommend?Please contact us for references as we have many suggestions with preferred seating, pricing and more.
Who can I call if I have any questions?Contact our booking office Toll Free at (877) 897.7700 or by e-mail at
Can I contact the boat directly? Yes. The mobile vessel phone on the captain’s belt is (617) 966-1986. The vessel also monitors VHF channel 16.
Some Questions to ask yourself when selecting a reputable Sea Burial Business
New England Burials At Sea provides all of the above and more. Call us today toll free at (877) 897.7700 for your burial at sea needs to request a free info pack. -Capt Brad White
New England Burials At Sea LLC
Captain Brad White – Founder
©2006-2013 – New England Burials At Sea LLC. All rights reserved. Patents pending