United States Coast Guard Affiliation
One of the most important pieces of information you need to know when making a decision to pursue a burial-at-sea service for your loved one is what the situation is all about. Almost everyone who contacts us will say something like, I have never done this before, don’t know anything about it, can you please help me?”
Here are the important things you need to know:
When shopping around, it is very important to realize and understand that this is unlike any shopping you have ever done. Many people focus on one thing: “What does it cost?” This can be a serious and dangerous trap which actually puts your life at risk. Please let me explain: This industry is fraught with illegal businesses referred to as ‘Illegal Charters’. People seek to not follow all of the legal requirements by the State, the City, and the USCG. Why? To save money, make money, without regard to the implications.
This is what I have seen as so hard for many to understand. “Why should I care? I just want the cheapest service. I’m sure it will be just fine’’. If you were not on a boat at sea I guess it’s not a big deal if you are one who doesn’t care about the laws, doesn’t value his or her life or those with you, and just wants to dump the ashes. I certainly hope you do not fit into that category! What I’m trying to emphasize is that it is a very big deal. This comes with the realization that any event on the ocean can be dangerous.
The laws and USCG regulations are there for one major purpose: Your Safety. Please take time to digest that. One business may cost more than another because they have taken all of the measures to insure your safety as best they can. Just to give you an example, we spent $50,000 to upgrade our vessel just on USCG safety requirements. That is the truth. It was rather funny because I said to the Coast Guard, “You guys are costing me so much money!” Their response was, “No we’re not. You’re the one who decided to do this. No one says you have to do this”! Later I remarked,” but some of these regulations make no sense to me”. They said, Pat, let me tell you one thing. Everything is for the SAFETY of your passengers on board.”
That is so important that it needs to somehow become ingrained on everyone’s mind when they begin to search for a company to perform the service of Scattering-ashes-at Sea for their loved one. Let me give you a few real-life examples:
- A boater near me took people out just about everyone and one day asked me, “Pat. What’s with MARAD thing you’re supposed to do to become a legal charter?’ I explained the law to him and he responded “You paid the United States Government $500 and took all the legal steps to get approved to take passengers out? That’s ridiculous. I would never do that and I will just keep running my business until I get caught!” Is this an example of someone with no heart? Making money just for his own pleasure without regard to the value of a human life?
- Another man in our Marina was doing burials-at-sea illegally. I contacted the Sheriff’s Department and the Marina Operators, they arrived and confronted him. He was removed from the Marina as they discovered he didn’t even have a Long Beach City Business License. He was voluntarily endangering the lives of innocent people just so he could make some money!
- Recently, a lady informed us that she had chosen another company BECAUSE they were $100 cheaper. She admitted that she had not checked licensing, USCG Certification, etc. but they were cheaper and that was all that mattered”. Wow! Little did she know that she was putting her life on the line to save $100?
I couldn’t stress enough the importance of checking out a company you are considering in this important decision. It really takes a couple of minutes to ask some basic questions:
- What is your CRD license?
- What is your city business license?
- What is your USCG Certification?
- What is your Master Captain’s License? Do you have a Master Captain?
- Who are you enrolled with for your required Drug and Alcohol Consortium?
All of this and much more is required for your safety. If you perhaps are skeptical of what I am saying, just call the Coast Guard or the local business license office.
A very sad final example is the Maritime disaster Labor Day morning of 2019 off Santa Cruz Island, California. 34 people died in a fire that engulfed the dive boat ‘Conception’. Investigators from the FBI concluded that all lives could have been saved if safety rules and regulations had been followed. The death of anyone was entirely preventable! Can you imagine how horrible that is? Entirely preventable!
Do you think that even one person would have boarded that vessel had they known that their life was at stake because the owners and operators and crew failed to follow the safety standards? May God rest their souls.
I don’t know about you, but my life is worth asking a few questions. Please do that and respect that the USCG has your best interests at heart as they systematically and diligently inforce hundreds of safety requirements.
*The men and women of the United States Coast Guard deserve our love, our respect, and our admiration. Every day they are out on the ocean doing everything they can to protect us. Illegal charters and those that hire them are slapping the USCG in the face. Do you really want to be in that category? The Coast Guard has asked me to report Illegal charters. They have told me that they not only endanger the lives of so many, but they also hurt those of us operating legally, business wise and professionally.