All About Burial at Sea

By: Schilling Funeral Home & Cremation
Monday, March 28, 2022

Have you ever been curious about burials at sea after cremation services in Morrison, IL? You might be surprised to learn that burial at sea isn’t just for sailors and pirates, but it does come with a lot of rules.  

Keep reading to learn more about burial at sea and the accompanying regulations.  

  1. What are the rules for being buried at sea? While the laws around sea burials vary from country to country and sometimes state to state, there are a few that remain the same almost everywhere. For example, all sea burials must be performed at least three nautical miles from shore and must be reported to the EPA within 30 days of completion.  
  2. Who can be buried at sea? Anyone! You don’t have to be a military member to be buried in a large body of water. The most common type of burial at sea today is the scattering of cremated remains, but full body committal is also an option 
  3. What are the EPA Regulations for Burial at Sea? You can find the full rules and regulations for sea burials under the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA). It is important to note that sea burials are some of the most environmentally friendly burials possible, as they don’t use embalming fluid, don’t require a crematory fire, and don’t use up space on land.  
  4. Are there rules for full body burial at sea? Anyone from sailors to fisherman and ocean enthusiasts can be buried at sea with a full body burial. According to federal law, a full body burial at sea can only be completed in an area that’s at least 600 feet deep and at least three miles from shore. Also, a licensed funeral director must be on board the vessel.  
  5. How do you hire a boat for a sea burial? There are two ways to request a burial at sea: through the Navy or through a civilian charter company. Navy sea burials are only used for sailors who die when a ship is deployed, and the family wishes for their loved one to have a sea burial. Civilian ocean burials are when civilians charter a private boat, hire a funeral director to come along, and bury a loved one on the water.  
  6. Are there rules for cremation burial at sea? There are two main ways to bury cremated remains at sea: in a biodegradable urn or by scattering the cremains. Biodegradable urns made for water burials float for a few minutes, then sink into the water and slowly disintegrate. Scattering cremains at sea can be done with a scattering urn or with your hands.  
  7. What happens when a body is buried at sea? A full body will float to the surface in three to four days, upon which it will begin to decompose. The bones will sink under the surface again in about two weeks. 

Schilling Funeral Home & Cremation is here to help if you want to learn more about burials at sea or Morrison, IL cremation services. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.  

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