July 5, 2011 3:15 PM By Kaivan Mangouri, Globe Correspondent
New England Burials At Sea, which runs mourners out into the ocean to scatter the ashen remains of loved ones, is now extending its services to those who want a marine memorial for their beloved pets. Company founder Brad White said pet burials at sea resulted from his own interests as a dog lover.
“We are enlarging it. Pets are people too,” White said. “People want a dignified last wish and final chapter for their pets.”
White, who has several dogs, also founded Midnight Pass, a company that manufactures beds, strollers, and other pet-related products. His contact with other owners led to the pet burial at sea services.
“We get many requests to scatter the cremated remains of pets alongside the remains of the pet parent,” White said of many of his ocean burials. “We know how much we love our pets, and in today’s transient society, many owners don’t want to exhume pet remains when they move.”
White offers pet burials starting at $95. After the the ashes are scattered into the ocean, there is usually a poem reading, and then flowers or wreaths are placed in the water. Owners receive a sea burial certificate, which, White said, often helps to bring some closure if they cannot make the trip themselves.
Most of the pet burials are unattended, although he performed one that had 40 people in attendance.
Nearly 40 percent of deaths resulted in cremations in 2009, according to the Cremation Association of North America, double the amount in 1985 – a rise that some in the funeral business attribute to the green movement. The figure is expected to grow to nearly 60 percent in the next 15 years.
Although he does not want to think of it, when the time comes for his 12-year-old Schipperke dogs, White intends to bring them out to the ocean. “I would prefer to scatter their remains because they love being on the boat,” White said. “It’s in their blood and in my blood.”
Last Monday, at around 11 in the morning local time, Osama Bin Laden’s body dropped from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson into the Arabian Sea. According to the Pentagon, the hours-old corpse had been washed and placed in a simple white sheet in accordance with Islamic practice. It was then sealed inside a weighted bag and laid on top of a board, which was tilted until “the body slid off into the sea.”
Back on land, the controversy surrounding Bin Laden’s last splash was just beginning. But beneath the waves, nature was taking its course, quietly and methodically turning the world’s most-wanted terrorist into fish food. You could say Osama bin Laden had received the ultimate green burial, courtesy of the United States Navy.
Obviously, the decision to consign Bin Laden to the deep was motivated by expedience rather than eco-friendliness. Seafarers from Odysseus to Ahab have long known that there’s no better way to quickly be rid of a corpse than to toss it overboard. But only recently has this salty custom been rediscovered as a relatively efficient way to be laid to rest with minimal environmental impact.
“I have noticed a great increase in interest in burial at sea,” says Ann Rodney, an environmental protection specialist in the New England office of the Environmental Protection Agency’s ocean and coastal unit, which oversees burials in American waters. The agency doesn’t have hard data on how many Americans choose sea burial, but Rodney suspects the numbers, though small, are growing. “Ten years ago, I might get one or two calls a year about it. Now I get at least one call a week.”
If you’re intent on going into a watery grave, you’ll need to enlist someone like Brad White, a 52-year-old licensed ship captain who has been depositing bodies in the Atlantic since 2005. His company, New England Burials at Sea, based in Scituate Harbor, Massachusetts, does an average of six full-body burials a year and has 25 “pre-need” requests on the books. People who choose to be buried at sea, he says, “typically have a love for the ocean, do not want to be cremated, and prefer ‘ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
They want to become part of the Earth again via our oceans.” To help them realize this, White offers burials that he says are not only historically authentic but environmentally sound. “About five or six years ago, someone kept asking me, ‘Can you do a full body?’, and I kept saying no, since I didn’t want to put a casket in the ocean.” He turned to nautical history for an alternative. Traditionally, 18th and 19th century American and British sailors who died at sea where wrapped in a sailcloth shroud with a few cannonballs or leg irons as ballast and then sent overboard. This inspired White to create the Atlantic Sea Burial Shroud, a canvas body bag that comes in seven colors, with your choice of piping or fringe. The shroud zips up, so there’s no need for the traditional final stitch sewn through the nose—a superstitious precaution meant to rouse the comatose. For ballast, White sells custom-made 37.5-pound cannonballs. “Barbell weights work well, too,” he says.
In 2007, a fishing boat off the Massachusetts coast pulled up the remains of a body that had been buried at sea six years earlier. Besides honoring nautical tradition, White says, a shrouded body has less impact than a corpse inside a coffin—the standard for the Navy, which offers full-body burials for veterans, provided the bodies are embalmed and sealed inside a metal casket with a few holes drilled in it. White prefers not to handle embalmed bodies. “We’re into clean waters and clean oceans,” he says. His system is designed to be as biodegradable as possible. Grommets in the shroud “help the body sink because air comes out. And when a body decomposes, body gases come out. It also allows sea life to go in and do what sea life does. What’s left after everything degrades are the cannonballs, and they make their own reef.”
Plus, White adds, “A Navy ship deploys a body from 10 stories high. We have a gentle deployment system that slides the body into the ocean. It drops maybe six inches to a foot.” (Bin Laden’s body reportedly fell from the hangar deck of the Vinson, which is about 55 feet above the waterline.)
Beyond cost—White’s full-body burial services start at $9,750—there’s little stopping you from visiting Davy Jones’ locker, though the EPA must be notified within 30 days of your final voyage. The agency’s main concern is that once sunk, bodies stay that way. Burials must take place at least three miles offshore and in at least 600 feet of water (1,800 feet in certain areas, such as the Gulf Coast). If you use a casket, the agency recommends drilling at least six three-inch holes in it to “facilitate rapid flooding and venting of air.” It also suggests adding four pounds of additional weight for every pound of body weight, which means the coffin for a 150-pound person would weigh more than 750 pounds. And to make sure coffins don’t pop open when they hit the water, the EPA advises wrapping them in stainless-steel chains, gift-box style.
The only nod to clean-water standards is a requirement that all wreaths or flowers tossed in the water must be “readily decomposable in the marine environment.” The EPA will get on your case if you dump formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, into a stream or lake, but it won’t blink if you put a body filled with formaldehyde-based embalming fluid into the Pacific Ocean. While there is no research on the effects of sunken bodies on ocean ecosystems, Rodney says that logic suggests it’s minimal. She cites the adage “dilution is the solution.” In other words, it’s a big ocean out there.
The rules for burial at sea are more stringent in the United Kingdom. Bodies can’t be embalmed and must be clad in biodegradable material (“commensurate with modesty”); coffins must be made of softwood and may not have plastic, zinc, copper, or lead fittings. Like the EPA, British regulators are preoccupied with preventing bodies from washing up on shore or getting snagged in fishing equipment. They require coffins to be heavily weighted and drilled with 40 to 50 holes. Just in case, each body must have an ID tag locked around its neck.
Though it is rare, bodies do occasionally resurface. Last September, a fisherman came across a floating corpse, naked except for a sock, a few miles off of Florida’s Atlantic coast. A brief homicide investigation revealed it belonged to a North Carolina man who’d been buried at sea a day earlier, wrapped in a plastic tarp. In 2007, a fishing boat off the Massachusetts coast pulled up the remains of a body that had been buried more than six years earlier.
Usually, the ocean does not give up the dead so easily. As he was developing his sea shroud, White did some of his own research into underwater decomposition, running trials with the bodies of various mammals. “We would use store-bought roast turkeys, chickens. Animal Control supplied us with roadkill foxes, possums, raccoons. We used a little bit of everything,” he recalls. He also consulted FBI forensic experts, who informed him that after two days in the water, most bodies are “unrecognizable.” White concluded that a body and a shroud on the sea floor should completely disintegrate within three to six months.
Results may vary depending on a burial spot’s depth, temperature, and its abundance (or lack) of sea life. Generally, the deeper and colder the water, the slower bodies decompose. A 2008 paper in Forensic Sciences described the differing conditions of remains retrieved from two airplane crashes in more than 1,500 feet of water. A victim discovered off of Sicily 34 days after death was still fully dressed; a three-month-old body found off the southern coast of Africa had been “fully skeletonized” by “highly efficient necrophageous lyssianassids” (i.e., flesh-eating shrimp-like creatures).
Another recent study that monitored pig carcasses submerged in approximately 300 feet of water found that hungry sea critters can have rapid and dramatic effects on the dead. Observing a subject known as “Pig 1,” researcher Gail Anderson wrote, “It immediately attracted a number of animals including squat lobsters, Dungeness crabs and spot shrimp. Two days after it was placed on the ocean floor, a large piece of tissue was removed from the rump…the bite mark left behind suggests that the culprit was a six-gill shark.”
Gory, but that’s what it means to sleep with the fishes. Capt. White speculates that Bin Laden’s body has met a similar fate. Considering that the Arabian Sea is warm (right now its average temperature is in the 80s) and teeming with sharks—well, he says, “Go figure.”
Dave Gilson is a senior editor at Mother Jones. (reprinted with permission) Original Article at:
The vast majority of cremations never have a proper, dignified “celebration of life” burial ceremony. Company founder Captain Brad White recently announced a new service now offered at NEBAS – the Belated Burial – a memorial ash scattering that pays tribute to a loved one when a family is still holding onto their cremated remains and not knowing how to put them to final rest.
According to Capt. White, “Typically, during the first year following cremation, the remains are placed proudly on the fireplace mantel. As the years go by, the remains are eventually moved to the hallway closet behind a tennis racquet and by year five, or even year 10, someone has an epiphany that a burial at sea or other ‘celebration’ would be a great final and proper tribute.”
NEBAS is the best known company in the USA for sea burials and it uses only properly insured and licensed captains with current U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) certifications who only use clean, safe and up to date vessels from Maine to Miami as well as San Francisco to San Diego. Vessels vary from vintage Maine down east style to sport or luxury level vessels accommodating up to 400 people.
NEBAS Burials at sea are legal, approved per USCG and EPA regulations and are easy to plan. For ash scatterings, NEBAS voyages out three nautical miles and the family scatters their loved ones cremated remains with a customized sea tribute service and returns to port all within about three hours. Traditional Ash Scattering rates include an official parchment sea burial certificate marking the latitude and longitude of a loved ones’ final resting place and start at $495.00. NEBAS also offers full body ocean burials with their patent pending organic Atlantic Sea Burial Shroud®
For more information or to make arrangements for a Belated Burial , contact NEBAS
New England Burials At Sea LLC, (NEBAS) offers burial at sea scatterings and eco-friendly full body sea burials, serving families from Maine to Miami for groups up to 400 people since 2006 and is recognized by the EPA, US Navy, U.S.C.G. and many area funeral homes and crematories.
NEBAS offers a unique Concierge Program specifically for families traveling to the Boston area for NEBAS services. The company has partnered with the pet friendly Fairmont Battery Wharf Hotel, Rowe’s Wharf Water Transport Company, Winston Flowers and CityView Trolley company of Boston to help ensure NEBAS guests are as comfortable as possible during their time of grief and mourning – and one simple phone call handles it all.
The company also designed and manufactures the Atlantic Sea burial Shroud®.
Since the operation in Pakistan eliminating Bin Laden, we at www.NewEnglandBurialsAtSea.com have had scores of people contact us and visit our site to ask questions about Muslim burials at Sea. I thought it best to post in our blog known scientific, geographic and religious facts.
The US Navy did the right thing by burying the body within 24 hours.
Muslims, as a rule, do not bury at sea. Muslims typically use a traditional in ground burial and position their dead casket free, bound in a shroud in the ground facing Mecca. (See exact religious custom detail below).
The Arabian Sea has a mean water temp of 68 degrees, perfect for the 56 species of sharks to habitat, some of which are man eating.
A Full Body burial at sea from an aircraft carrier or destroyer is not necessarily a “gentle” ride as the Navy described. It is the equivalent of dropping heavy weight from the tenth story of the Empire State Building.
At New England Burials at Sea LLC we deploy a shrouded full body at actual sea level in a very gentle way.
Our experience tells us that cold water ocean burials are best (Atlantic and Pacific oceans specifically) and most practical using our Atlantic Sea Burial Shroud® that we developed which is properly weighted with over 150 pounds of cannon ball ballast and has the proper exhaust venting system to insure that the body stays on the ocean floor.
“Muslim belief is that the dead human body should be respected and not harmed in any way. After death the body of the deceased is washed and anointed with scents, the washing is done by the family members, men wash the bodies of men and women wash the bodies of the women, when there is the death of a child a man or woman may perform the washing ritual, there is an exception to a man washing the body of men and the same for women, this is when there is a loss of a spouse. A husband may wash his wife and the wife may do the same for her husband. After the washing of the body the body is placed in a plain white shroud where the head and the feet are tied with a piece of the same shroud, it is tied in such a way where the head and feet can not be distinguished from one another.
The burial usually happens within 24 hours and gives reason for preplanned funeral arrangements relieving the stress on the family. Silence is recommended for most of the funeral proceedings which take place outside of a mosque. The deceased is laid in the grave on his or her right side without a casket if permitted by law with their head facing the Muslim holy city of Mecca in the capital city of Saudi Arabia. At the gravesite, it is discouraged for people to place flowers, headstones or markers. There is typically a mourning period of three days and according to the Quran if there is a surviving widow there is an extended mourning period of 4 months and 10 days for which the widow may not remarry, move, nor wear jewelry or decorative clothing. Often there is a special meal to remember the deceased attended by friends and family and it is appropriate to send flowers after the funeral.”
In closing on this topic, we have had many questions on this recent event so if we have not answered them all for you, check out our FAQ section or send us an email (OceanBurial@aol.com) or give us a ring toll free at: (877) 897.7700.
Marshfield, MA – To meet the needs of many new clients visiting Boston for memorial burial at sea services, New England Burials At Sea, (NEBAS) has recently expanded their range of hospitality and travel related services available.
In April, company founder Captain Brad White launched the new Concierge program which includes priority hotel and restaurant reservations, meeting reception space, flowers, airport water taxi service and city trolley transportation.
Company founder, Captain Brad White has added these new programs in 2011 to meet additional demand for traveling families to the Boston area.
As part of the Concierge Program, NEBAS partnered with the pet friendly Fairmont Battery Wharf Hotel as its preferred accommodation choice in Boston. The hotel is located directly on the Harbor and features contemporary accommodations and state of the art event space as well as a new restaurant with a seasonal outdoor dockside terrace.
The Rowe’s Wharf Water Transport Company provides on demand water taxi pick up service with direct routing from the airport across the harbor to the hotel dock aboard an efficient, convenient and comfortable green electric boat water taxi which is the regions only zero emissions boat.
In addition, NEBAS has selected Winston Flowers, Boston’s premier florist to work with sea burial clients while visiting Boston because of their top quality of service and fresh ocean friendly florals said White. “Winston’s entire staff is compassionate and knowledgeable as they truly understand the sensitive nature of our business while also being familiar with our vessels. They have fresh immediate access to quality flowers that will memorialize with dignity and respect our client’s loved one.”
NEBAS also affiliated with the CityView Trolley company of Boston to provide group downtown city transportation with historic city tours also available for families.
“To ensure that our clients will be as comfortable as possible during their time of mourning, our new concierge service will allow our clients to handle all of the details with one simple phone call that handles it all. We are proud to be affiliated with these four new Boston area partners to our company,” said White.
About New England Burials At Sea LLC, (NEBAS) offers burial at sea scatterings and eco-friendly full body sea burials. Serving families from Maine to Miami since 2006, the company has worked with groups up to 400 and is recognized by the EPA, US Navy, U.S.C.G. and many area funeral homes and crematories. The company also designed and manufactures the unique and innovative Atlantic Sea burial Shroud®.
It’s as old as seafaring itself. For thousands of years, a burial at sea was the customary way of laying to rest a person who had died while aboard ship. Now the ancient custom is staging a comeback, with some new twists.
Increasing numbers of people are opting to pay their last respects to a loved one with a ceremonial burial at sea. It is seen as an environmentally conscious way of leaving this life. No casket. No burial plot. No consuming scarce land in a cemetery.
The dear departed is typically cremated and the cremated remains are scattered over the ocean water (lakes and rivers are off limits). Beyond that, the newest option is to lower the ash urn in a specially made concrete burial reef that will become an underwater habitat attracting marine life on the ocean floor, supporting sea life for generations as a living underwater ecosystem. The Great Burial Reef can hold the remains of two people.
For those whose prefer not just a sea burial of ashes, but rather a full-body burial at sea, that too can be arranged.
A leader in the revival of this ancient custom is Captain Brad White of Marshfield. His sixyear- old company, New England Burials at Sea LLC, is on its way to becoming a million-dollar business. His is the largest burial-at-sea company on the East Coast.
White owns two boats out of Scituate, and contracts with boat captains owning 28 different boats along the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Miami and in California. Each must pass a rigorous 177-point inspection process to be considered.
Capt. Brad White and nephew trevor White, both of marshfield, aboard ship for a burial at sea ceremony. On the Web: NewEnglandBurialsatSea.com
White officiates personally in most of the sea burial ceremonies. Another 10 people, from Maine to Maryland, have been schooled at his Burial at Sea “boot camp” in everything from proper captain’s attire to operations, safety, event management and filing mandatory reports with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The average cost for a two-and-a-half-hour trip, three miles to sea, for a group for 25 people with a celebration of life sea tribute ceremony is about $2,500 including water, sodas, memory bottles of ocean waters from the place of committal, ship-sealed sea burial certificates and the family is welcome to brown bag a lunch or all levels of catering are available – for about a third the cost of a traditional cemetery funeral. A lower-cost unattended scattering of ashes, captured in photos and including all of the above documentation, is only $495.
A full- fledged larger scale event for 100-400 people can run up to $12,000+. The centerpiece is a formal nondenominational service at sea, customized in each case. Researched from past eras, the service includes ringing of eight bells, an “end of watch” blessing and the firing of a portable ship’s ten gauge canon. A tribute usually includes prayers, poems and other readings with a selection of recorded music from the company’s music library of more than 1,200 songs. A live bagpiper or bugler are optional. Ocean friendly sea wreaths of native flowers often are placed in the water to float along with the cremated remains, traveling the currents clockwise at a gentle four knots of speed to Nova Scotia, Africa, back to the Caribbean and north again.
White, 52, has spent much of his life navigating the waters of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays. He also traveled the world as business development director for The Sharper Image, a high-end consumer products retailer. Looking for a calmer lifestyle, he had started a charter fishing business. “Then somebody asked me if I could scatter their uncle’s ashes,” says White. “That turned out to be a lot more interesting. I could offer ash scatterings versus all-day tuna fishing charters. The economics are more favorable, allowing me not to focus all day on having to catch fish.”
“That’s how we started. First it was two, 20 and then 200 groups and it really just grew.” White said he grossed just $1,700 in 2006 and adds that while the logistics of selecting and training top captains and crews all over New England has taken him more than six years and is not easy, it is very rewarding as sales have grown significantly 4x year-over-year. He uses only top-quality boats with the latest safety gear, which are comfortable, fast and dry. Included are captains who are experienced, qualified, properly licensed and insured.
“There’s a tremendous interest in burials at sea. We’ve researched a 300-year-old tradition, modernized it and it’s just taken off,” White adds. “We’re so proud of the business. People rely on us for reconciliation of the loved one’s passing and they travel here from all over the world. We’re able to do that with a white-gloved approach at sea, accommodating from one to 400 people. The event usually starts sad but ends happy.”
Besides contracting with other likeminded boat captains, New England Burials at Sea also works with more than 400 funeral homes in Massachusetts and many more around the country. White emphasizes that he is not a funeral director but a licensed maritime planner. He also is associated with and supports local florists, a clock manufacturing company that provides engraved clock memorials and other local businesses to augment his successful business model. The full-body burial at sea constitutes about 5 percent of the business and also is ecofriendly.
Significant, often time-sensitive planning is required as there is no casket involved, but rather a specially designed organic oceanfriendly shroud made in Massachusetts to order. It is weighted down, according to the ancient tradition and more current U.S. Navy regulations, with 150 pounds of iron cannonballs also made locally at a historical factory on the South Shore.
“We use a sophisticated but simple process to deploy a body overboard to its final resting place with more compassion via a gentle ocean entry versus a radical drop from a 10-storyhigh Navy aircraft carrier,” says White. “We developed in Fall River the ‘2G body luge,’ not unlike the glide-free luge at the Olympic games, to allow us a smoother water entry.”
“People come to us to leave less of a carbon footprint,” says White. “Because of the greening of America, our business is flourishing.” Besides avoiding the need for caskets and cemetery plots, the company also offers biodegradable urns, shrouds and sea-friendly natural flower wreaths.
White is commissioning another boat for New England Burial at Sea and he is thinking of naming it Final Wish or Last Cast.
A final resting place at sea As cremations rise, ocean burials also gain
By Katie Johnston Chase
Globe Staff / January 20, 2011
Waves gently slapped the sides of the boat as Nancy Mastrangelo’s children and grandchildren, bundled against the mid-December chill, knelt on the bow one at a time to drop handfuls of her ashes into Massachusetts Bay. After leading them in prayer, Captain Brad White rang a bell eight times to mark her passing.
Mastrangelo, 78, an East Boston native who loved the beach, died the week before, after a battle with cancer — just a few months after her husband’s ashes were scattered at sea.
“She wanted to be with him,’’ said her daughter Wendi Mastrangelo of Sudbury.
The Mastrangelos are among a growing number of people choosing to have their cremated remains, or even their bodies, released into the sea — rather than having them buried in a cemetery or spending eternity in an urn. The local office of the Environmental Protection Agency received 70 filings for New England burials at sea last year, up from just five in 2005.
“They would rather the ashes be free versus locked up,’’ said Tiffany Chan, the manager of Wing Fook Funeral Home in Roxbury.
The trend follows an increasing preference for cremations over burials. Nearly 40 percent of deaths resulted in cremations in 2009, according to the Cremation Associa tion of North America, double the amount in 1985 — a rise that some in the funeral business attribute to the green movement. The figure is expected to grow to nearly 60 percent in the next 15 years. And companies such as Captain White’s New England Burials at Sea LLC are catering to those who also have an affinity for the ocean.
Burying a loved one at sea privately doesn’t require a special permit, but those who charge to take people out for ocean burials need to have a Coast Guard captain’s license, said David Morin, who runs A Burial at Sea out of Narragansett Bay. In either situation, a report must be filed with the EPA within 30 days. Cremated remains have to be taken out at least 3 miles from land, and full bodies also must be deposited in water at least 600 feet deep, which can mean going out 25 miles or more.
Funeral directors accompany services for full bodies, which are weighted down to keep them on the ocean floor until they decompose. This prevents incidents like the time a body that was buried at sea got caught in a fishing net off the coast of Chatham several years ago. Some protected areas, such as Buzzards Bay, are off limits completely.
The people who perform official burials at sea aim to give the deceased a dignified send-off. “I’ve heard stories of people throwing [ashes] off the Block Island Ferry and coating everybody on the boat,’’ said Morin.
Having someone who knows how far out to go helps, too. “Swimmers obviously don’t want to see grandpa come floating by,’’ said Morin, who charges $700 to take up to six people out to scatter remains of a loved one off his 35-foot yacht.
White began his Marshfield Hills-based company — the biggest such business in New England — in 2006, when the trend was in its infancy. He had just received his captain’s license to take people on sightseeing and fishing trips when he got a request to scatter someone’s ashes and realized there was a market for burials at sea.
White now has 28 boats from Maine to Florida and conducts up to 10 services a week up and down the east and west coasts. White also buries cremated remains off the coast of Florida in concrete structures called Great Burial Reefs, and he’s planning two more 20-acre burial grounds off Maryland and Cape Cod.
“The growth potential is exponential, it really truly is,’’ said White, whose family first got into the funeral business in the early 1900s when his grandfather and great-uncles in Quincy had their morning milk delivery Clydesdale horses start pulling hearses in the afternoon. As a high schooler, White used to pick up bodies at Logan Airport before football practice in Braintree and deliver them to funeral homes.
For families that have lost loved ones, scattering cremated remains at sea can be an affordable way to go, ranging from a few hundred dollars for an unattended service to several thousand for a more elaborate service with flowers, a DJ, and other extras. A cemetery burial, on the other hand, costs about $7,000. Still, some people spare no expense. White once conducted a $60,000 service for 275 guests, complete with transportation to and from the boat, a bagpiper, a full meal of rib roast and shrimp, and an open bar.
Many people choose to add personal touches such as pictures or favorite foods to the service at sea.
In August, on the day after what would have been their 59th wedding anniversary, the family of Jeanne and Andy Forti went out into Plymouth Harbor at sunset and toasted the Saugus natives — a jar of white Zinfandel for mom and a martini with two olives for dad. Jeanne died at age 80, five years after her husband, and had told the family, “When my time comes, stick us both out at sea,’’ said daughter JoAnn McDade.
After the toast, the family tipped the bean pots holding the couple’s remains into the water and watched the current slowly take them away. “You’re off and you’re traveling the world now, together,’’ said McDade, whose family paid New England Burials at Sea about $2,500 for the ceremony.
White has conducted only a handful of full-body burials, which start at $9,000 for the service and biodegradable burial shroud, but has arrangements pending for dozens more.
Bob Kimball, who has prostate cancer, is among them.
Kimball, 62, lives and swims at the harbor in Winthrop, and he knows when his time comes, he wants his body committed to the deep.
Kimball has already been fitted for his shroud; it will be cream-colored, so family members can write farewell messages on it, and decorated with American flags.
“You have dirt, you have fire, and you have water, and out of those three the most appealing to me and the most comforting was the water,’’ said Kimball. “I always tell people that the ocean and the water is my mistress. It’s where I want to go.’’
Watching a loved one’s body slip into the abyss can be difficult, however.
Robin Tacelosky’s husband, Michael, who repaired boats for a living in Maryland, always knew he wanted his body buried at sea. So she honored his wishes, complete with music by the Grateful Dead, despite the fact that some people weren’t comfortable with it.
“It was extremely hard,’’ she said. “There were some family members that did not want to attend.’’
Out in the bay near Boston Light, White told Nancy’s Mastrangelo’s family members about the path her ashes would take, circling from Newfoundland, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and back up the East Coast.
Mastrangelo’s brother, children, and grandchildren tossed white mums and pink, red, and yellow roses on top of the ash plume, and White fired a cannon three times.
Forty-five minutes after the boat dropped anchor, the driver slowly circled the field of floating flowers and headed back to port.
Katie Johnston Chase can be reached at email@example.com.
New England Burials At Sea LLC expands services, boats and people as the demand for Green Burial Increases
MARSHFIELD,MA— Capt. Brad White, founder of New England Burials At Sea (NEBAS), now offers affordable, personal memorial ash scattering and full body burials at sea services from Maine to Miami. Recognized by the EPA, US Navy, USCG and many area funeral homes and crematories, New England Burials At Sea is also building a network of approved and Quali-fied Sea Burial Certified™ captains on the east and west coast of the USA.
The service takes up to 400 people three miles off shore (25-75 miles off shore for a full body committal) on an inspected vessel for private ash scatterings by a licensed U.S. Coast Guard Captain, along with selected clergy if desired, to respectfully attend to a loved one’s final wishes. The company ensures a loved one a fi nal resting place at sea, while relieving family of significant financial burdens in their time of distress.
NEBAS offers year round, cost effective, attended or unattended traditional ash scattering memorial cruises and complete full body eco friendly sea burials. Sea burials are performed casket-free using an organic shroud, and per USCG regulations, presided over by the captain as well as a funeral director for full body committals.
The company uses 28 different vessels from 30’ to 115’ for up to 400 passengers from Maine to Miami. All vessels are clean, current and have the latest safety gear. Vintage vessels dating back to 1935 are also available for the nostalgia crowd. “Mainers like lobster boats for their final ride,” said Capt. White
Captain Brad White has been navigating Massachusetts Bay for more than four decades. He has U.S. Coast Guard certifications in RADAR, GPS, Auxiliary sail, towing,SCUBA, CPR, First Aid and Rescue and Sea Survival. He is USCG licensed, insured, based out of Marshfield, MA andhandles the east coast with approved contract affiliates in other parts of the USA.
The trained crew conducts a dignified and well planned memorial service that can becustomized to specific needs, wishes, religion or taste. If preferred, a family member or other designated person may conduct all or part of the ceremony. Ocean friendly wreaths, florals,catering, music, poems, readings, prayers, bagpipers, Taps, military cadre and other options are also available.
At the close of the service, loved ones receive a commemorative distinguished keepsake burial certificate, indicating the date, time, depth and exact latitude and longitude of the ceremony so that area can be visited at a later date.
Requests can be accommodated within 24-48 hours,depending on the weather or season. The service maybe attended or unattended and viewed from the shore. Photography of the service is also available as well as alive video feed that can be simulcast worldwide to family members not able to attend. They can easily log on from anywhere in the world to watch the event.
Burying people at sea since 2006, White has been impressed by very steady growth. He now offers a tuition reimbursement program to interested seasoned mariners who need to acquire their required captain’s credentials for immediate employment into this growing business.“Cremations across the USA will top 60% nationwidein 2020,” said White. “And where will all those cremated remains end up? People prefer the ocean as they can always visit the water and see their loved one.”
“Themed events from Grateful Dead sing-alongs to Irish wakes, Viking burial requests as well as star studded sea burials happen frequently,” said Captain White.Burial At Sea scattering of ashes service are also availablefor beloved pets. The company has hosted eventsfor 400 passengers with full food, band and planningand some groups have seen their family member off complete with a hail of ship’s cannon fire, farewell horns, bagpipers and floral champagne toasts.
Captain White mentioned, “We have seen an incredible up surge in families who want a true “green” ocean burial where their deceased family member may have had an affinity to the sea. Some families don’t want their loved one to be embalmed and truly want a naturalat sea burial service. Many people come home to the sea from their retirement homes,” added White.“Typically, people say, ‘I did not know you could legally do this,’ and want to know where to find the services or how to plan it,” said White.
Full body burials at sea use the company’s exclusive organic Atlantic Sea Burial Shroud which is hand tailoredby size and color by US Navy veterans on demand andthey are weighted down with 150 lbs. of official cannonballs smelted by the same maker of cannon balls for America’s oldest commissioned warship, Old Ironsides. For more information, visit the website at www.NewEnglandBurialsAtSea.com
or contact New England Burials At Sea LLC,
Toll Free: (877) 897-7700 or (781)834-0112,
cell: (617) 966.1986 or
via email Ocean-Burial@aol.com.