What type of Casket is
Any standard metal or hardwood casket is suitable. Maritime Burials will not accept a
particle board or pressboard constructed casket.
How is the Casket
All preparation of the casket for sea burial will be
performed by Maritime Burials staff at a local funeral home;
generally on the night prior to burial. The body will be
respectfully covered by a sheet during this preparation.
The casket will be drilled with 20 2” holes and ballasted
with weight at the foot. Aside from the pillow and
mattress, all accessible interior material/panels will be removed and the casket will
be closed and banded (with 4
horizontal and one vertical). From this point
the casket will remain covered all the way through the
How does the
burial/deployment take place?
Our boat "Affirmation", is uniquely equipped and crewed with
3 operators for a dignified deployment. The covered
casket rides on a customized marine grade stainless
platform. Upon arrival at the burial location, the
casket is attached to rigging and turned (feet first) for deployment. The
platform tilts as the casket is slowly lowered into
the water. Once completely submerged,
the vessels bell will ring the “Changing of the Guard” (4, 2
succession rings totaling 8). After the ringing of the
bell, the casket is released and allowed to descend free from the cover and
permanently to the ocean floor.
Where will the burial
The requirements for full body (non-cremated) burial at sea
must take place in approved Federal Waters (at least 3 miles
off shore) at 600 ft. (100 fathoms) depth or more.
Maritime Burials provides burial at, or adjacent to the only
charted Marine Cemetery in the world. This cemetery
is located approximately 7 nautical miles off shore due
south of San Pedro/Palos Verdes Peninsula with depths of 800 to 1,200
Can burial be attended
by family or group for a memorial service?
Yes. However, Maritime Burials boat “Affirmation” acts
as the hearse and is specifically equipped and crewed for
deployment only. Attended services require a separate
charter boat to accompany and observe the burial. Most
common charter boats are licensed for six passengers. Larger
boats can be chartered for your particular
needs. We help target your families specific needs by
avoiding excessive costs as compared to a
What is the progression
of an attended service?
Departure from Long Beach, generally takes place at 9:00am
(sea conditions are generally better in the morning). The
charter boat (family boat) will follow “Affirmation” to the
burial location. Once there, the boats will align toward
the waves with the family boat looking on. The casket will
be readied for deployment with at which time crew
members stand at attention for dedication or service. Upon the
conclusion of a reading or service on the family boat,
deployment will commence along with the ringing of the bell
“Changing of the Guard”. At this time, flowers will be
tossed on the water marking the exact spot of interment and
the family boat will move in close to allow attendees to
toss additional flowers or wreaths. The family boat will
circle the floating flowers as a farewell and then return to
shore. The total voyage generally takes 3
What happens if the
weather or sea conditions are bad?
It is rare that arrangements for burial cannot be scheduled
for forecasted good weather. However, weather
permitting, burial will take place even if an accompanying
charter boat captain decides to postpone or turn back due to
ruff seas or passenger request due to sea sickness. In
this case, the family boat can still go to the exact burial
coordinates for ceremonial purposes at a later date.
Charters for burial accompaniment will be accommodated as
much as possible, but cannot be guaranteed by Maritime
Burials or your funeral provider.
Aside from attending
burial at sea, what are some other options?
Some families prefer not to attend the burial and observe final closure with a traditional
service at the funeral home chapel or at their place of
worship. We highly recommend a shore
side, vista point gathering at Point Fermin Lighthouse,
White Point State Park or the park grounds at the Korean
Bell of Friendship. All these locations are public parks
located along the south facing beach and bluffs in San
Pedro, CA. These locations provide serene, breathtaking
panoramic south facing ocean views overlooking the burial
location. We can coordinate the burial deployment to
coincide with a shore side service/gathering.