Burials at sea.


Burials at sea.

Torre de Malladeta, en Villajoyosa.
Source: Flickr


With the UK being an island and as a result of our maritime heritage, burials at sea are a common desire for those with a sea fairing background.

Organising a sea burial can be a complicated task and is not encouraged by UK authorities due to environmental and legal concerns which are faced.

Before a burial can proceed a licence must be obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF) for burial at sea.

Currently there are only 2 places around the UK coast where sea burials are allowed,
These are the Needles which are located of the western tip of the Isle of Wight and Newhaven, located in East Sussex.

However, a recent project launched in the USA may make burials and memorials at sea a more accessible proposition. The Neptune Society which specialises in cremation services in the USA are creating the Neptune Memorial Reef.

This reef is positioned 3 miles from the coast of Miami in 40 feet of clear blue water the reef will provide a beautiful setting for those wishing to be buried at sea. They plan to create one of the largest man made reefs in the world, based on the legendary lost city. It is expected that the reef will cover 16 acres of ocean floor and will be a haven for marine life to flourish. The reef will be an attraction for divers, ecologists and tourists as well as providing a revolutionary burial site, with capacity for over 100,000 remains.

The Neptune Society was established in 1973 and provides US consumers with simply, economical and dignified alternatives to traditional memorial ceremonies from 38 locations throughout the country.

For those with a maritime background a burial at sea could be a viable alternative to a traditional burial involving a headstone and traditional church service.