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All sea burials include an official parchment sea burial certificate marking the latitude and longitude of your final resting place. We now use 86 different vessels departing 77+ port from 30’ to 115’ for up to 400 passengers. All vessels are clean, current and have the latest safety gear. Many have cash bars available, media hook ups and more. We also offer vintage vessels dating back to 1935.
The general costs are described in the current pricing kit we send you and do vary by port. Your payment books date, time, vessel, crew, service etc. Quoted prices do not include crew gratuity. Prices are firm for 30 days or until booked.
See also Cap Chats: East Coast Pricing
Military honor guards are available for honorably discharged veterans (DD-214 discharge paperwork is required). We easily can arrange and if you also want the optional Live bugler ($100 goes to the buglers across America) versus electronic bugles provided by the Navy at no charge.
Some Cremation Scattering Methods aboard our vessel and a few FAQ’s
We first journey three nautical miles to sea (Legal federal boundary for scatterings), select a suitable spot based on wind & tide. We understand the difficulty surrounding this time and will customize the memorial to meet your needs.
The Captain is pleased to perform a short maritime ceremony (we will provide past samples of maritime services for review before hand) and family and friends are encouraged to share readings, poems or music. Flowers work well as they float on the water, creating a flower field to mark the location for us to circle. The ceremony may be brief or last up to an hour. When all has been spoken and the final personal tribute has been made, the ashes are scattered. The vessel will then slowly circle the flower field and return to port. The Latitude and Longitude and depth/time of the event will be recorded on a keep sake certificate. Many times families come back to visit the exact spot on a future anniversary date.
Some families choose to deploy an ocean friendly urn. Some families choose casting while water scattering: it is the act of simply tossing the ashes downwind. Usually done by one individual while others look on, but all can and usually do participate as a group. Care and consideration of others should be used when casting. Check the direction of the wind and cast down wind. The ashes are mostly made up of a dense sand-like matter and will quickly fall to the ocean floor. People can take turns doing a partial scattering one at a time. Ashes can be cast directly down wind into the water and the ashes will form a beautiful sinking plume. Some ashes can become airborne forming a whitish grey cloud blowing down wind. We have also seen group scatterings where multiple people scattered simultaneously in a toast-like gesture using paper cups or silver ladles. When scattering over a body of water an optional water-soluble urn can enhance the experience. These urns are specifically designed to gradually disperse the ashes back to the sea slowly sinking 10-15 minutes after deployment where it will bio-degrade back into the sea allowing for a focal point of your service. The attending family and friends will often toss flowers or flower petals as a final tribute as the cremains or urn slowly drift away. It is truly a beautiful and memorable sight.
Where do the ashes go once they are in the water? Cremated remains (ashes) resemble the consistency of crushed egg shells. They typically find their way to the warm ocean currents of the northerly traveling Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream is the western boundary current of the North Atlantic and transports significant amount of warm water (heat) pole ward. The core of the Gulf Stream current is about 55 miles wide and has peak velocities greater than 5 knots or 6+ mph.
Where can we depart from:
please see Locations We Service.
Do we have to go 3 miles to sea?
Can we scatter closer on the way in or later?
Payment options: If a burial at sea event is planned within ten days time, full payment is required at time of booking. If an event is scheduled more than two weeks away, a 50% deposit books your day and time. Most folks take advantage of our Free Rose Petal program if paid in full on booking at least 4 weeks in advance of the sailing date and this method also guarantees a lock in on fuel pricing at $4.00 ($7.00 in 2022) +/- per marine gallon. We accept all credit cards and Pay Pal.
All of the arrangements can be made by telephone fax or email. In 2020 we depart form over 73 ports with 86 different vessels. We offer boats ranging in size from 33′ feet to 125′ feet and can accommodate up to four hundred guests. For your safety and protection, all of our boats are fully insured and piloted by a Coast Guard licensed captain & certified crew.
What is included in the price?
The price includes, the vessel, fuel, taxes, soft drinks / waters, up to two and a half hours portal-to-portal if by sea (We go three miles from shore) the steering captain / pilot and our services for the arrangements and sea tribute, six signed and sealed burial certificates, filing with the EPA, a suggested order of service (sample sent on deposit) and an “e book” of poems and readings you might like to look through and consider for your sea tribute. We also include an eight-bell end of watch blessing, cannon fire farewell salute, ship’s horn farewell while circling the ocean flower field after the scattering and a Ship’s Burgee. We are very flexible.
The price does not include, food, flowers, urns, crew gratuity, music (we can help with selections from our sea music library on an IPod for ship’s background sound) and we can create a mix for you for under $100. We also offer a raw uncut unedited GO PRO video. This is a great opportunity to send to relatives and friends that may not be able to make the sea tribute event or to keep in your family album.
Available popular options:
Sea Wreath $165.00
Rose Petals $75.00
Journey Urn $145.00
Additional options for slight additional cost:
Taps or favorite song(s) or both, Door to shore livery service, simulcasting
world wide with internet logins (summer 2023) , water urns, bag pipers, extra
certificates, catering, 10 GA cannon salute send off $15.00 (One shot in most ports is included) , plump rose petals $75, select hand picked Sea Flowers $100, Ocean Friendly Sea Wreath $165.00. Bagpiper for 2 hours $350 (Abundant “tune” library), custom nautical memory chart™ (11” x 14”) an official NOAA Nautical chart of the exact area showing committal location $125, Sea Memory Bottles™$15 each, Eight Bell Burgee, $75. Go Pro unedited video $150.00 w/ electronic download and/or $185.00 with chip
Suggested Tip for Mate / crew aboard:
Do you have references?
You can see our U Tube description of services here: https://youtu.be/qsiPqyCQMwE. A fire side chat description of sea burials with actual footage of scatterings and full body sea burials by New England Burials At Sea with many answers to common FAQ’s. Full of info on how to plan and design.
For additional information, we have a power point presentation for our available services available for download at: https://www.mediafire.com/?5d95gsc6ru26r5r
Please see our recent 30 second spot here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oeDIJsP250
Where do we go?
We are USCG licensed, properly insured, based out of Marshfield, MA and operate from Maine to Miami and San Diego to Seattle.
We offer year round, cost effective, attended or unattended traditional ash scattering memorial cruises, Air Scatterings and complete full body (casket free using our shroud) eco friendly sea burials per USCG regulations, presided over by the captain (and a funeral director for full body committals), serving all faiths with personalized services.
For ash scatterings, we voyage out three nautical miles, scatter ashes with a customized sea tribute service and return to port. For Full body burials we journey to 600’ of water, distances offshore can vary depending upon port of departure.
Are our Vessels Handicap Accessible?
Is it legal to do this?
Are you insured?
Are you licensed?
How long are we out for?
Is there a time limit?
Can the family help decide where to scatter the ashes?
Is there a bathroom aboard?
What’s for lunch?
What about Alcohol?
If a vessel has a cash bar, State law requires the purchase of Alcohol on board versus BYOB and they are strict about that—questions please inquire.
Can we bring music on CD’s or an iPod?
The captain is also more than happy to take a family shot for you. We also have available a PHOTOSHOW where we take the choice shots, include in an online program complete with DVD so family members who were unable to attend can see the actual sea tribute through the eyes of the lens–please inquire at to the cost for this photo option.
Do people generally get sea sick? 95% don’t.
If I am prone to getting sea sick, what should I do? We recommend you consider staying and viewing from shore as when one person gets sick, others may too. You can view through supplied binoculars and we will call you via cell phone when we start. You can listen to what we are doing. Or, visit our how to prevent sea sickness page and try your best! Our vessels have a very steady platform and takes the gently waves nicely. We usually do not have any issues. If you get woozy while boating, we recommend checking with your Doctor prior to departure and taking Dramamine at least 2 hours before departing the dock if you want it to work. It will not work if you wait and take it while underway. Wrist bands and behind the ear devices also work–check with your pharmacist should for your particular preventative situation.
Any known or potentially unknown medical conditions should be reported to the captain before disembarking so as to not spoil the trip for the others; such as pregnancy, bad backs/necks and or susceptibility to sea sickness
How do we dress for the event aboard?
Restricted Items (What Not To Bring):
Planning your Trip. Pre Boarding…
What to Bring and Do…
Where do we meet the vessel?
What local accommodations do you recommend?
Who can I call if I have any questions?
Can I contact the boat directly?
Has this service been in the recent press?
Shipboard Rules & Regulations
Please plan on an additional gratuity of at least 15% for exceptional services by crew, paid as you see fit upon disembarkation, thank you.
Cancellation or Change Policy:
Change Policy: One schedule change is allowed per booking at no charge based on availability. Additional schedule changes will be assessed a $150 change fee per change of departure day, time, vessel or port.
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. All credit card cancellations have a $75 admin fee if paid by credit card.
The We Promise 100 % SATISFACTION GUARANTEE POLICY:
Booking Office telephone toll free (877) 897-7700 or direct 781-834-0112.
Can we bring our young children aboard for an at sea event?
It has been our experience that children older than seven years can understand the reason for the sea memorial event. Explaining end of life and cremation can be a trying time for anybody and may not be easily understood by children under 7 years of age. We have also found that infants through six years of age can be more susceptible to motion sickness aboard a moving vessel which then can become uncomfortable for the child and the parent or care giver as well as others attending the service. Choice is important and it is not really possible to “leave the vessel” as one might choose to leave a church service, therefore we recommend that all children over 7 years of age are best suited to attend sea tributes while youngsters under 7 may best understand the reason for the memorial from dockside. We often have youngsters touch and or bless the cremated remains from dockside before departures from the dock making them feel part of the event. Each case is individual as is the circumstance and we wanted you to know our experience to this very important question that families often ask.
In all cases, children ar welcome and we have life vests from 10 months size to grand pa size.
As required by law, our required USCG Safety Equipment provides for persons 3 years of age through 100 years of age. If needed we can assist with a shore-side baby sitter if requested 7 days prior to departure. We meet and exceed USCG requirements on all vessels
Full Body Burial at Sea FAQ:
For generations a sea burial was the best alternative available for those who died at sea.
We all have seen at least one movie where the ships captain weighed the body down, wrapped it in a plain sheet with American flag and allowed it to gently slide into the ocean off the side of a military ship followed by a word or two from the Chaplin or captain complete with an honor guard shot volley from the crew.
We have improved on this age old experience and are well versed with all of the current USCG and EPA rules and regulations associated with Sea tributes for your loved one.
Answers to some questions
Can a full “intact” body legally be buried at sea in the United States?
YES. There are however many regulations and requirements which we follow.
Would a direct burial at sea be expensive for a full body?
Very cost efficient—prices start at $8,975 and this is an eco friendly-casket free service. We believe in natural green ocean burials and use a custom biodegradable sea shroud rather than an expensive, cumbersome, non-ocean-friendly metal casket.
A full body buried at sea must happen in waters of a specified 600’ depth, mainly to ensure that the body remains deep on the ocean’s floor.
Any additional burial costs would be added if desired such as preparing the deceased for viewing and transporting the remains to the vessel and the individual sea shroud and weights.
Why can’t I perform a full sea burial myself?
You can, but it will take some time to comprehend and follow all the rules and regulations, file EPA reporting forms, get proper insurance, vessel, crew and sea tribute service. These also vary from state to state.
It is best to leave all of this important detail planning up to New England Burials at Sea. Licensed Maritime and Funeral professionals routinely comply with the many applicable state laws and regulations, including securing any and all necessary permits. For the sake of the environment, your upmost at sea safety and obliging the law, do not perform a sea burial without being certain you comply with local and federal regulations.
Can I do this with pre-planning?
You sure can. We will recommend one or more funeral directors in your area to arrange it for you. We do not hold future event deposits longer than 30 days.
I want to make arrangements. Where and how do I start?
Call us at New England Burials At Sea Direct at (781) 834-0112. We can offer you many choices in ash scatterings and full body sea tributes. We are licensed, insured, recommended and ready to meet your needs within 48 hours in most cases. Be sure to call us for a free information packet at (781) 834-0112
Are there environmental laws and regulations governing Burial at Sea?
Yes and we have the EPA laws posted on our website and also below www.NewEnglandBurialsAtSea.com.
Burial at Sea additional FAQ’s
“Uncle William always wanted an at sea burial. He loved the beach, ocean, cruising the Maine and Cape Cod coastlines and really loved fishing. He made our family promise to have his wishes fulfilled to be buried at sea. He often said “it is a better deal too! No casket or cemetery plot or fancy service, just a voyage by boat out three miles with a simple captain’s service.”
Can Sea Burials be done legally?
Who can do it for our family as we are mourning and don’t understand all the maritime details?
A: “New England Burials At Sea”
Whose permission do you need?
A: “The EPA for burial permits and the USCG for charter vessel licensing”
What type of container should be used?
A: “None is best as being ocean friendly is being smart”
How far out to sea do you have to go?
A: “Three miles for ash scatterings and to 600 ‘ of water for a full body sea burial, about 25-75 miles to sea on the east coast, and less distance on the west coast, according to undersea topography at your location.”
Can we legally scatter ashes on an inland river or lake?
Who do you have to notify?
A: “The EPA”
Can the family go?
A: “You bet and we encourage it”
How much will it cost?
A: “Starts at $875 – $2,150 -$2750- $9,750 depending on the number of people attending on board, the type of ocean committal (Ashes or Full body), and the intended geographic location of your event”
“….about the cremated remains? My Uncle William said that you can scatter his ashes from one of the jetties , a bridge or a nearby beach . I’d like you to do that with his ashes. Is it possible?”
A: Possible yes…Illegal yes.
If you scatter ashes from a local jetty or beach, you are breaking Federal Law. The Environment Protection Agency requires in Volume 40, Part 229, page 2489, that “cremated remains shall be buried in or on ocean waters without regard to the depth limitations provided that such burial shall take place no closer than three nautical miles from land (abut 3.5 miles).” Additionally, a detailed report shall be made “within 30 days to the Regional Administrator of the region from which the vessel carrying the remains departed.” Decomposable flowers may be scattered at the same time.
Are there other scattering options?
A: “Yes”. The USCG may perform this ash scattering services for veterans but you are not allowed to attend. Contact them for requirements which are basically the same as outlined above. The Coast Guard will not arrange for the burial at sea of non-cremated remains (unless the deceased was actively on Coast Guard duty or was a retired Coast Guard Officer. Requirements are somewhat vague but are probably the same as for the Navy.)
Your best level of service will be through a private charter boat captain like New England Burials At Sea who can easily provide this service and fees range from $495 for unattended scatterings to $895 for family-attended scatterings for up to six people, the (decedent’s) cremated remains and up to $7,500 – $10,000 for a full body depending on the number of people attending, geographic location and type of sea tribute.
New England Burials at sea has many years of experience in the scattering of cremated remains and full-body burials at sea. Please contact us for a free info pack at Brad@BradWhite.com
What about if Uncle William was in the Military?
A: If you want cremated remains scattered from a U. S. Naval vessel, contact the District Medical Office for your location and they will specify the requirements. Basically, they are a letter of authorization by the “Primary Next-of-Kin”, a certified copy of the death certificate and the cremation certificate to accompany the cremated remains to the assigned location. Unfortunately you are not able to attend a Navy Burial At Sea program. See below for more information.
What are the rules of the EPA?
Burial at Sea – EPA Requirements for Scattering Ashes at Sea
As you make your preparations to bury a loved one at sea, you need to understand the Federal laws that regulate this activity. EPA granted a general permit to allow for burials at sea. The permit is published in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 40, Chapter 1, Section 229.1 (PDF) (1pp, 52 KB). The information below will guide you in how to conduct a legal burial at sea.
The burial at sea regulations are based on the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuary Act of 1972. According to the regulations human remains transported from U.S. ports or on U.S. vessels or aircraft may be buried at sea under specified conditions. These include cremated as well as non-cremated remains. Burial in or on inland waters is regulated according to the Clean Water Act. For inland waters burial, a permit is required from the appropriate state agency.
Please note the requirement that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) be notified within 30 days after burial.
[Code of Federal Regulations] [Title 40, Volume 12, Parts 190 to 259] [Revised as of July 1, 1996] From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access [CITE: 40CFR229.1]
TITLE 40PROTECTION OF ENVIRONMENT
CHAPTER IENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED)
PART 229GENERAL PERMITSTable of Contents
Sec. 229.1 Burial at sea.
(a) All persons subject to title I of the Act are hereby granted a general permit to transport human remains from the United States and all persons owning or operating a vessel or aircraft registered in the United States or flying the United States flag and all departments, agencies, or instrumentalities of the United States are hereby granted a general permit to transport human remains from any location for the purpose of burial at sea and to bury such remains at sea subject to the following conditions:
(1) Except as herein otherwise provided, human remains shall be prepared for burial at sea and shall be buried in accordance with accepted practices and requirements as may be deemed appropriate and desirable by the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, or civil authority charged with the responsibility for making such arrangements_
(2) Burial at sea of human remains which are not cremated shall take place no closer than 3 nautical miles from land and in water no less than one hundred fathoms (six hundred feet) deep and in no less than three hundred fathoms (eighteen hundred feet) from (i) 27 deg.30’00” to 31 deg.00’00” North Latitude off St. Augustine and Cape Canaveral, Florida_ (ii) 82 deg.20’00” to 84 deg.00’00” West Longitude off Dry Tortugas, Florida_ and (iii) 87 eg.15’00” to 89 deg.50’00” West Longitude off the Mississippi River Delta, Louisiana, to Pensacola, Florida. All necessary measures shall be taken to ensure that the remains sink to the bottom rapidly and permanently_ and
(3) Cremated remains shall be buried in or on ocean waters without regard to the depth limitations specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section provided that such burial shall take place no closer than 3 nautical miles from land.
(b) For purposes of this section and Secs. 229.2 and 229.3, “land” means that portion of the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured, as provided for in the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, which is in closest proximity to the proposed disposal site.
(c) Flowers and wreaths consisting of materials which are readily decomposable in the marine environment may be disposed of under the general permit set forth in this section at the site at which disposal of human remains is authorized.
(d) All burials conducted under this general permit shall be reported within 30 days to the Regional Administrator of the Region from which the vessel carrying the remains departed.
The burials conducted under this general permit must be reported in detail within 30 days to the Regional Administrator of the region from which the vessel carrying the remains departed.
Regarding burials at sea off CT, NY, NJ, MD, DE, the continental shelf extends from 50 – 80 miles off shore. It is only after you go this far that you find water over 600 feet deep therefore a day’s journey is required for this sea tribute and at New England Burials At Sea we use vessels that are large enough and comfortable enough for the trip.
Burial at Sea REGIONAL Contacts
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont
Alicia Grimaldi – Burial at Sea Coordinator – US EPA
5 Post Office Square – Suite 100
Mail Code – OEP-06-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands
Patricia Pechko (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Burial At Sea Coordinator
US EPA Region 2
New York, NY 10007-1866
District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia
Renee Searfoss (email@example.com )
Burial At Sea Coordinator
EPA Region 3
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4
Attn: Gary Collins
61 Forsyth Street Southwest
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 562-9395 Fax: (404) 562-9343
E-Mail: Gary Collins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Louisiana and Texas
Jessica Franks – Burial At Sea Coordinator
US EPA Region 6
1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200
Dallas, TX 75202-2733
ph – 214.665.8335
cell – 214.310.6194
fax – 214.665.6689 Franks.Jessica@epa.gov
California, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marianas and Trust Territories
Allan Ota (email@example.com)
Burial At Sea Coordinator
U.S. EPA Region 9
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Alaska, Oregon and Washington
Burney Hill (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Burial At Sea Coordinator
U.S. EPA Region 10
Regional Administrator’s Office, RA-140
1200 Sixth Avenue Suite 900
Seattle, WA 98101
Fax: (206) 553-1775
If the decedent is eligible for burial at sea by the U. S. Government, please see details described above – New England Burials At Sea can assist where necessary but the Navy handles their own program—please note, families are not allowed to attend Navy Programs but can attend sea tributes with New England Burials At Sea.
Picture (c) United States Navy Mortuary Affairs from 1944