Scattering Ashes at Sea Guide: 5 Important Things You Need To Know

Scattering ashes at sea is a fitting tribute and farewell to a loved one.

Most of us have seen heard of pouring ashes into the water from a boat.

But you might be unsure about how to organise something like this, or whether you need permission.

Our experts have put together this guide to help you through the process. We will explain some of the different ceremonies and services you might consider.

After we’ll cover rules and regulations, prayers, poems, and various methods and ideas for scattering the ashes.

Scattering Ashes at Sea Ceremony
There are other factors to consider in addition to the actual scattering. For instance, will you have a memorial ceremony?

In most cases, there is no particular rules for the ceremony. It is arranged and performed to the wishes of the deceased or their family members.

Ashes Ceremony on a Boat

You may prefer a cremation ceremony to be performed according to the religious beliefs of the deceased.

For instance, Christian scatterings are often similar to a traditional one on land. They sometimes include a minister who oversees the event with eulogies, prayers, or a scripture.

Other Ceremony Alternatives

Then again, you could have the ceremony with only family and friends.

Otherwise, you might consider a ceremony that is planned around the heritage of the deceased.

Or if they were fun loving, it could be a celebration of their love for life with music and even dancing.

We will look at some of the possibilities in more detail later.

Choosing the right urn

Floating biodegradable urn

Many people simply pour the ashes from an urn into the water. There is no specific type of urn required for that.

Some simply use the temporary container, which the funeral home or crematorium provided.

However when scattering at sea, it’s wise to ensure that you determine the direction of the wind, otherwise the consequences can be messy.

Biodegradable Urns for Water
If you wish to release the whole urn into the water, a biodegradable urn is your best choice.

These are created to break down quickly in water are now available in all shapes and designs.

These beautiful urns come in quite a few designs including flowers, seashells, turtles, and more.

Water Urns Guide
If you’re interested in scattering, we recommend you read our biodegradable urns for water guide which provides some valuable tips before buying.

Types of Services Available
The options are endless. Below we will look at a few ideas and suggestions. Hopefully, one will be right for you or possibly trigger an idea of your own.

Unattended Services

Captain Spreading Ashes

In many situations, although scattering at sea is desired, the family is unable to attend. This may be due to illness or perhaps the place where the deceased desired is a great distance away.

For those circumstances, after the cremation has taken place, you would send the ashes to the company that will be performing the service.

The captain of the ship will take your loved one’s ashes along on the voyage and perform a distinguished scattering for you.

In most cases, they welcome any requests you may have such as a particular prayer to say, a poem to recite, or music to play.

Attended Services
Scattering Ashes at Sea
Scattering Ceremony At Night

You have the choice to arrange the service yourself or hire a sea burial company to do it for you.

Some companies offer specific services such as a mariner’s farewell ceremony. As the ashes are scattered, the mariner’s farewell verse is read as the ship’s bell tolls eight times.

The mourners may each toss a flower into the water as a final farewell.