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Question
Posted by: Lorna | 2008/07/22

sea burial

Please tell me how a sea burial works.Is it legal in South Africa and who do I contact about it.This is a very urgent request for an answer. My cell no is 0837391366< br> Thank you< br> PS I dont want to be cremated first, my whole body must be buried in the sea.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageEnviroHealth expert

Here is some infomation on burials at sea sent by Martin's Funerals:

Burials at sea are not common in South Africa, but it has been done a few times and we have had several requests for information in this regard.

The most important factor to take in consideration before you plan a burial at sea is that any person who wish to be buried at sea must state so clearly in his or her will - no burial at sea is allowed without that consent.

The Funeral Company will make a special application to the Department of Health for the burial. The human remains are then placed in a special "biodegradable body bag fitted with weights". No coffins are used.

The remains are then transported by either a chartered vessel or very often the NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) - Chartered Vessels are costly and the NSRI only requests a reasonable donation. The burial must take place a certain number of sea miles away from the coast. The undertaker and 1 member from the family accompany the deceased for the ceremony.

The average cost is estimated between R8,500 and R11,000. There are, according to our information, no manufacturers local that can make the specified body bag equipped with weights. This price excludes the cost to charter a private vessel and donation to NSRI. Burial at sea is not as cost effective as a standard cremation but is certainly environment friendly.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Gregg Arnolds | 2016/05/16

What I always wanted. Nothing big, Just a memorial service and a sea burial with one family member.

Reply to Gregg Arnolds
Posted by: Anonymous | 2014/04/27

My husband wants to be buried at sea. But what would it cost to have his body transported from Polokwane, Limpopo, South Africa. to Durban Kwazulu Natal, for such a burial.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Maria Martin | 2013/07/30

Thank you for making this post and info. It has always been my desire to be buried at sea. Only this am I spoke with an SA lawyer regarding my request to be buried at sea. He was going to check into it as for him this was the first request he'd heard of. Are you the 'Martins Funeral Palour in SOmerset WEST?

Reply to Maria Martin
Posted by: EnviroHealth Expert | 2008/08/01

Not sure of the US legalities - will see if I can find out. Please check again on the forum next week.

Reply to EnviroHealth Expert
Posted by: DorothyOfOz | 2008/07/31

So how does sea burial typically work in the US? Is it leagal?

Reply to DorothyOfOz

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