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Budget is a big item for most in planning a funeral. One of the major reasons cremation is Becoming the American Way(OC Register article 8-8-17) is that it is so less expensive than a grave side burial service.

We would give you a warning and some insight in shopping companies comparing costs:

Legality. Many companies are operating illegally without State licensing or USCG certification. Some may not have a Captain which is a requirement. Simply ask about these requirements as you look at various companies.

  1. A for-profit or non-profit company. We are the only non-profit public charity that performs burials at sea. Ask yourself, “ If the other companies have to operate at a profit, how could they be less expensive?”
  2. Hidden Costs: We have been told by dozens of families that other companies sound cheap, but keep adding on various costs. They may charge more for a weekend, holiday. We would NEVER subject ourselves to such a practice.
  3. Necessities and comfort. Most companies fully realizing your needs and desires, charge you for everything. We love to give so make sure that you have free food, drinks, flowers, and photography.
  4. Convenience. You may find that companies only go out at certain times. We believe strongly in doing everything at your convenience. We go out any time, any day of the week, whatever works best for you.


The cost of a burial service is relative to several factors: Whether your choice is and attended or unattended service, location, number of passengers if there are to be some. We discuss the options with you in the planning stages. As a non-profit organization based in Long Beach, generally speaking, your costs will be the lowest should you choose the ceremony to be performed in that area. View-from-a-pier will always be the least expensive option. Boarding a boat will always be your most expensive option. We do not make a profit:  the monies that come as donations to our foundation cover our operational costs only. Anything above that is greatly appreciated with all donations going to helping other Military families.

For some general ideas:  View-from-a-pier, LB would be $500;  1-6 passengers, LB would be $700, and 7-12 passengers, LB $800. We feel that everyone should save if they can. Food, drinks, roses, and professional photography are our gifts to you at no additional cost.

The Honor Guard service is also free. Most guests choose to donate $100 or so which covers their costs of uniforms, ammunition, and weapons.

For the State of California, the Secretary of State and Attorney General, Department of Justice, and Department of Consumer Affairs have awarded a non-profit, public benefit, charitable trust designation to The Last Watch Foundation to provide funeral services to help the Military and their families. We are the only organization in the United States to be awarded this honor. The State has also given us license to perform the scattering of ashes at sea. If a donation to The Last Watch is ever received, those funds are deposited directly into The Last Watch Foundation.