BURIALS AT SEA MEMORIAL SERVICES
There is nothing more memorable than experiencing the scattering of ashes of your loved one at sea in an incredibly unique and caring fashion. This of course, is where The Angel’s Ashes really shines. I don’t believe there is a company out there that can match the sheer beauty of our ceremony. In times of financial stress coupled with the challenges of trying to plan a proper and loving burial, we felt compelled to offer many types of services to help you, some of which may be more affordable.
We are the only non-profit charitable trust to offer these services. We decided to absorb all the costs of taxes, harbor fees, food, drinks, flowers and more to help you. We make no profit and do not even take a salary. We also do not charge you what all our competitors do: more on a weekend or even for an afternoon.
We offer several types of services mainly so that we can take care of anyone’s needs in just about any situation. It can be a very difficult time in your life, so we want to take care of you in any way we can. By offering and discussing several options, we should be able to give you what you desire and what is the most affordable solution. The various options can be divided into two basic categories: 1. Unattended Memorial Services and 2. Attended Memorial Services.
UNATTENDED MEMORIAL SERVICES
These are the services we provide when the circumstances are such that we go out alone to scatter the ashes. This would be the least expensive of all options. One reason for this is that a Captain is not required: just the licensed person to perform the scattering. Even though no one is physically with us, we treat the ceremony as if the family were actually present. By this I mean the same loving, and dignified respect is given to the deceased. As their ashes are entered into the sea, I do a prayer and lower the ashes in a basket decorated with roses and rose petals. The exact location is recorded with a Memorial Certificate and letter sent to a surviving family member if one is identified. When the ashes are provided to me by a Mortuary, the certificate and letter are mailed directly to the Mortuary.
- Single scattering-of ashes: Only one set of ashes has been given to me by a family member or Mortuary.
- Multiple Scattering-of-ashes: Several sets of ashes have been entrusted to me. Each set is placed in a separate location with individual attention to the prayer and flowers. This includes the scattering-of ashes that is referred to as ‘medical waste’.
ATTENDED MEMORIAL SERVICES
- Passengers aboard the vessel
This is when I get the pleasure of your company! It is also the most expensive option. Some savings can be accrued by limiting the number of passengers present. We are certified by the USCG to carry up to 12 passengers for the memorial service. The reason we are limited to 12 is because our yacht was built outside of the United States. She can comfortably accommodate many more passengers, but is restricted to 12 by the U.S. Build Law. Many companies are licensed to carry only 6 passengers. This is a very significant. A six-passenger vessel is an Uninspected vessel whereas a 12 passenger vessel is an Inspected vessel by the USCG. The licensing of the Captain of a 6-passenger vessel is also much lower than those of a Masters Mariner Captain required for a 12-passenger vessel. A fast number of safety features of a vessel for a 12 –passenger vessel are also much higher than an uninspected vessel carrying only 6 passengers.
- View-from-the Pier Memorial Services
You can actually be a part of the memorial service while not actually being a passenger! This is done by you and your party by viewing the ceremony from just a few yards away while you are standing on the pier. Please read about this option for it can be the best option in some circumstances and the most affordable.
- Combination of passengers on board and View-from-the-Pier
We also offer this service when your part exceeds the USCG 12 passenger limit. Basically, 12 can be on the boat and some can be on the pier viewing the ceremony. This can be a great option for large parties to accommodate all that want to attend and at the same time, keep the costs down.
When considering the View-from-the Pier option, several factors come into play that may make this option the most desirable:
1. No one gets sea sick. Invariably, at least one person gets sea sick when on a boat. Let’s face it: most of those attending are land lubbers. It really affects the ceremony when several may be attending the individual who is sea sick.
2. A pier offers a much better vantage point for viewing the ceremony. On a boat, everyone is gathered on one side and several cannot see very well, especially someone in a wheelchair. On the pier, no view is obstructed as everyone is basically looking down on the boat at a very short distance away.
3. No limit to the number of people attending. A boat can only accommodate a limited number of people due to licensing restrictions and size of the vessel. Obviously, these limitations do not apply when viewing from a pier.
4. Expense. Viewing from a pier is always going to be less expensive than boarding and traveling on a boat. This can be dramatic with larger parties.
5. Handicapped people. Many boats do not have handicapped access or allow handicapped people on their vessel. A pier always accommodates the handicapped and makes it very easy and pleasant for them. After all, they are important and deserve to be a part of the ceremony should they desire.
6. Families with children. Many boats do not allow for children. If they do, those under the age of 13 have to wear a life vest which usually makes them a little unhappy. Also, on a boat, it is rather encumbering for the parents in that they often find it difficult to relax and enjoy the ceremony as they have to hold or watch after their children. On a pier, it is a little easier and everyone enjoys the experience at a higher level.
7. The elderly. Everything on a pier is easier for the elderly. They do not have to face the difficulties of getting on and off a boat. Nor do they constantly have to face the changing movement of the deck creating balance and falling issues. And, in general, a pier is more comfortable for them where they are not exposed to the elements or special confinements.
8. Safety. This is big one. For everyone, it is always safer on a pier. The risk of injury in ‘bracing’ one’s self, falling, bumping your head or falling overboard is easily eliminated. Even with the best Captains and experienced boat operators and crew, some will likely get injured on a boat. Why take the risk? Relax. And enjoy the experience on a pier.
9. Exposure. A boat, most likely will give you more exposure to the sun and elements than a pier. The wind will generally be less on a pier as well as the sun’s reflection. Overall, you will usually be more comfortable on a pier rather than on a boat.
10. Ease and distance of travel. At times, getting to a boat and boarding a boat can be much more difficult and can involve greater distances than the simple process of parking your car and walking or maneuvering a wheel chair down a pier.
11. The After-Celebration of Life. At least 90% of our families go out afterward to continue their get-together. The view from the pier has a lot of advantages for this part of your day. Someone being sea sick, injured, or just a rough time from being on a boat can dramatically affect your plans. These plans are a very important aspect of the entire event.
12. The preparation, expense, and planning of the service. Many families are dealing with strollers, wheel chairs, flowers, food and drinks in coolers, children and the elderly. These aspects are dramatically reduced when we just meet on the pier. We eliminate all the hassles by handing the food, drinks, and roses to you, free of charge.
13. Splitting up the party. Many times there will be some that wish to attend or some that are with you that do not want to board the boat. This uncomfortably splits up the party for the funeral service as those wait for the boat to return. This problem is easily resolved when everyone is viewing from a pier.
14. Cancellation or postponement. Unfavorable sea conditions have caused cancellations and postponements. This is obviously an inconvenience to say the least. Many times guests and family member are coming from out of town, out of state, out of the country. There have been times when it has been so dangerous, that the Coast Guard prevented boaters from leaving the harbor. People were out of a lot of money and not too happy with the burial company. This problem is eliminated when you are viewing from a pier in ‘protected’ waters.