This guide explains what happens at a burial at sea:
If your loved one expressed a wish to be buried at sea, there are three designated areas in the UK where this is currently permitted:
- Newhaven, East Sussex
- The Needles Spoil Ground, Isle of Wight
- Tynemouth, Northumberland
The license to bury a loved one at sea currently costs £175 for a fast-track application and you must supply the MMO with the following:
When making arrangements for the deceased’s burial, no embalming is allowed as this preservative could cause water pollution. Instead, a cotton sheet or biodegradable body bag may be used.
When you receive your licence, you will be required to give details of the coffin build and the MMO has the right to inspect the coffin before the ceremony takes place.
Scattering a loved one’s ashes at sea isn't uncommon in the UK. There are usually no legal obstacles to overcome, as long as the ashes aren’t scattered on a privately owned stretch of river without permission.
You must carry the ashes in a waterproof urn before scattering them in the sea, though simply placing the urn in the water is not permitted. When choosing to spread ashes of a loved one over water, you must also decide whether it will be done from a boat or from the shore line.
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