It's been around since the Vikings, where being buried at sea was all about honoring those seafarers who passed away after spending their life at sea and it continues today.

Most of us have seen this time-honored tradition in the movies and on television shows involving military personnel. According to, sailors and United States Marines are very often buried at sea in a beautiful, somber ceremony aboard a military ship bestowing a great honor for them while non-military family members and friends can watch from a civilian ship nearby. Or family members can choose to have the entire service on a civilian vessel if they prefer to be right there during the ceremony

So is this time-honored tradition only for members of the military?  Aboard a military vessel, yes, however anyone can be buried at sea in various ways according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency as long as you follow a few rules and regulations.

The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act according to the EPA has a permit you need to get first then you may bury your loved one's body at sea. You can even do this with cremated remains in a biodegradable urn if you prefer not to scatter their ashes.

According to the Join Cake website, private companies and funeral homes can arrange these funeral ceremonies at sea if you want. Burials at sea happen to be green as well, as one of many environmentally friendly options.

The United States Coast Guard also has a burial at sea program if you want to bury  cremated remains at sea versus scattered them. That program is for civilians as well as anyone in the military.

This goes for pets, too.

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