• Options For Ashes

Sea Burial Options for Those Who Loved the Sea

Did your deceased loved one feel most at peace when by the sea? Then, perhaps you would feel some solace in your sorrow when you complete the process of spreading ashes at sea.


Keep reading to learn about sea burial and how that compares to scattering ashes at sea. We will discuss the legality of scattering ashes in the ocean and the cost of a burial at sea. Finally, we know you are grieving the loss of your loved one and may be unsure of what to say when scattering ashes. We will give you a some ideas of grief quotes and poems to consider.


Our goal is to help celebrate your loved one's well-lived life and also help you through your stages of grief if you recently lost a loved one. Or use our information to help pre-plan if you are researching ideas for yourself.


Sea Burial vs. Spreading Ashes at Sea


Before we continue with our discussion on sea burial, we need to examine the terminology. After all, most websites that discuss “sea burial,” refer to both full body burial at sea and scattering ashes at sea. Both acts can be performed legally in the United States, but specific regulations must be followed.

Options for Ashes provides resources for those whose loved ones were cremated (or those of you who wish to be cremated after death). Therefore, our “buried at sea” refers to the act of spreading ashes in the sea.


Scattering Ashes Ideas and Costs


One of the benefits of cremation is that it allows you to take time to consider the permanent resting place for your loved one’s remains while emotionally processing through the stages of grief. Here are some sea options for ashes to consider for your loved one.


Scattering ashes at sea

The Federal Clean Water Act requires that cremated remains be scattered at least three miles from land. Unfortunately, this means that to spread your loved one’s cremains into the ocean legally, you need to charter a boat or hire a pilot to complete the process.

The cost to complete this process depends on how many family members are on board when the scattering occurs. Unaccompanied sea burial is the least costly, and the prices range between $200 to $500. Large groups may cost up to $5,000.

Neptune Memorial Reef

Instead of scattering ashes at sea, you might consider a more unique sea burial. Neptune Memorial Reef is an underwater cemetery for ashes. Three miles off the coast of Key Biscayne and 40 feet underwater, you’ll find the Neptune Memorial Reef. The reef was designed to be an artistic representation of the Lost City of Atlantis.


With prices ranging from $595 to $12,995, you can choose to have your loved one’s cremated remains entombed underwater. Then, your family can snorkel or scuba dive to visit your loved one’s underwater memorial. Neptune Memorial Reef is a unique option for sea lovers.

Eternal Reefs

If you are looking for a burial at sea idea with a more natural feel, consider Eternal Reefs. This company combines your loved one’s cremated remains with materials to create artificial reefs. The reefs are placed into the ocean, where fish and other sea life use it as a habitat. Eternal Reefs is actually a charity. They seek to foster the growth of marine life to help protect our oceans.


Your or your loved one's ashes are combined into the artificial reef balls that help support sea life. If you want your final placement to be in a beautiful underwater location with abundant sea life that you literally foster by enabling the creation of the reef, this might be right for you.

Eternal Reefs works off the coasts of Florida, and prices begin at $3,995.


What to Say When Scattering Ashes at Sea


There’s no right or wrong thing to say when scattering your loved one’s ashes at sea. Most bereavement experts would tell you to “speak from the heart.” Share how the grief following your loved one’s death has affected you, or talk about the memories you have of your loved one.

However, we understand that some of you may feel too much anguish to speak from the heart at this important event. For that reason, we would like to provide you with some grief quotes and poems to consider using during this poignant occasion.

“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” – Vicki Harrison “Love rests on no foundation. It is an endless ocean, with no beginning or end.” – Rumi “You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the ocean in a drop.” – Rumi

Are you looking for a poem that would be appropriate to read during your loved one’s scattering ceremony? Consider “Gone From My Sight” by Henry Van Dyke, a poem that describes death as the beginning of a new journey.

Another beautiful option is “Sea-Fever” by John Masefield. The last stanza of this poem reads:

“I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life, To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover, And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.”


Options for Ashes Can Help You With Your Sea Burial


If your loved one wanted to be buried at sea, Options for Ashes can help you complete this process. We can help you find a sea burial company near your location. Just click here and send us a note. Or, if you are interested in Neptune Memorial Reefs or Eternal Reefs, click here: Neptune Memorial Reefs or Eternal Reefs.

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