Burial at Sea 

For ages burial at sea was the best alternative available for those who died at sea. We all have seen at least one movie where they weighed the body down with rocks, wrapped it in a sheet and gave it the old heave-ho off the side of the ship followed by a word or two from the captain and a shot or so from the crew. They don't do the sea burial very often anymore. The regulations are pretty tight about putting bodies in the ocean. We are familiar with most of the rules.

Some basic FAQs

Can an uncremated body legally be buried at sea in the United States? 

The simple answer to this is yes. There are many restrictions and requirements, however, the least of which concern maritime issues. Many county health departments will not release a body to a captain for sea burial, some do, and then we can proceed with the burial at sea.

Would a direct burial at sea be expensive?

Not really... we only charge $3,500, you must pay for the casket which costs about $1,500. A full body buried at sea must be placed in waters of a specified depth, mainly to insure that the body remains at the ocean's floor. Any burial costs would be compounded by traditional funeral costs, if desired, such as preparing the deceased for viewing and transporting the remains to the vessel.

Added to this are the costs associated with any legal actions necessary to insure release of the body by county or state officials.

Why can't I perform a full sea burial myself? 

If an individual was apprised of all applicable laws and regulations, secured any necessary permits and had the proper craft to transport the remains into the ocean, he could probably find a place where he could legally perform a sea burial himself.

For the sake of the environment, for your safety and out of respect for the law, do not perform a sea burial without being certain you comply with local and national regulations.

Can I do this pre-need?

If one were to budget for a full burial that would be pre planned far in advance of need, he should consider spending at least two to three times the cost of a traditional funeral with cemetery interment. Even then, any legal issues that had to be resolved with political subdivisions such as the health department could require litigation which could prove to be far more costly than burial traditional costs.

I seriously want to do this. Where do I start? 

Serenity at Sea performs all types of burials at sea. Call us and let us know of your serious desire for a full uncremated burial at sea. We can probably help you find the answers to your questions. Understand, however, no guarantee can be made that we will be successful at obtaining the proper permission and permits to meet your need. Call us at


Aren't there environmental laws and regulations governing Burial at Sea? 

Burial at Sea is governed by a myriad of state and federal laws. Penalties for violating these laws are oppressive. Nothing can be placed in the ocean without proper reporting to the U.S. Government.








Burial at Sea