PRINCE CHARTERS • Ash Scattering & Burial at Sea Memorial Services

Navigating Burial at Sea in California: What You Need To Know

Today, let’s dive into the topic of navigating burial at sea in California. It’s a deeply personal and significant decision and understanding the ins and outs of the process can help ensure a meaningful and respectful farewell for your loved one.

Safety Measures and Precautions

Before embarking on a burial at sea, it’s crucial to prioritize safety above all else. California’s coastline can be unpredictable, with changing weather patterns and ocean conditions. Therefore, it’s essential to take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of all involved.

When planning a burial at sea, select a company with experienced professionals who are knowledgeable about maritime safety protocols. They can provide guidance on weather conditions, navigation routes, and emergency procedures to ensure a smooth and secure ceremony.

Choose a company with U.S. Coast Guard Inspected vessels.  This insures all the required safety equipment is on board and installed on the vessel.  

Why choosing a Coast Guard Certified vessel for your group is important: 

  • Vessels that are not Coast Guard Certified may carry up to 6 passengers. The Captain must have a valid Captains license and proof of enrollment in a drug/alcohol consortium. 
  • Companies that offer private charters for more than 6 passengers on non-USCG Certified  vessels (also known as bareboat or demise charters), will make you “temporary owner” and transfer the liability to you. Demise charters are limited to a maximum of 12 passengers and require you to hire and pay your own crew. 
  • USCG Certificated Small Passenger and Commercial Vessels are regularly inspected by the Coast Guard to ensure all safety equipment and training of the Captain and crew are monitored. The design of the boat itself is maximized for safety and stability, and must pass several inspections.
  • When shopping for a captained charter for more than 6 passengers, ask the vessel owner or representative for a copy of the COI (Certificate of Inspection). If they cannot provide this, they may be operating illegally. 

Obtaining the permit

In California, a permit is required for a scattering at sea.  Ask your charter company for details.  Some will offer a service to obtain the permit on your behalf, while others will rely on you to bring the proper paperwork.

Documenting and Memorializing the Event

Documenting and memorializing a burial at sea can provide comfort and solace to grieving family members and friends. Consider capturing the ceremony through photography, videography, or written reflections to preserve the memory of the event.

Creating keepsakes, such as memorial programs or commemorative items, can also provide a tangible reminder of your loved one’s life and legacy. These mementos can be shared with family members and cherished for years to come.

By documenting and memorializing the event, you can create a lasting tribute that honors your loved one’s memory and provides comfort to those who are grieving.

Planning for Accessibility 

When planning a burial at sea, it’s essential to consider the accessibility of the vessel. Take into account the physical needs of all attendees and ensure the vessel can accommodate those needs prior to booking your charter..

Choose a location for the ceremony that is accessible to all participants and consider providing accommodations, such as seating, shade, or restroom facilities. Communicate with attendees in advance to ensure that their needs are met and that they feel welcomed and included.

By planning for accessibility, you can ensure that all attendees can fully participate in and engage with the ceremony, honoring your loved one’s memory in a respectful manner.In conclusion, navigating burial at sea in California requires careful consideration of safety measures,   obtaining a permit, documenting and memorializing the event, and planning for accessibility. By prioritizing these factors, you can create a meaningful and respectful farewell for your loved one that honors their memory and provides comfort to those who are grieving.

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