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Your Safety

The United States Coast Guard and The Angels Ashes/ Last Watch working together for you: We have received the USCG certification to carry passengers for hire. This is an extremely important and valuable designation. For anyone boarding our boat, it means that the vessel meets the highest safety standards and the operator of the vessel is licensed at the higher standard of a Masters Mariner Captain. We are also licensed by the State of California to perform burials at sea. All burials at sea must be performed by and individual licensed as a CRD (Cremated Remains Disposer).

Other boats are allowed by the USCG to carry a maximum of six passengers as an uninspected vessel, but do not have to meet the qualifications and safety standards of a vessel carrying more than six passengers. We are certified to carry twelve passengers because we are an INSPECTED VESSEL and have been awarded a MARAD waiver as a vessel built outside of the United States. We are also required to operate the vessel by a Masters Mariner Captain which is much higher than a so called six-pack Captain. These are very important factors for you to consider when choosing a company to perform the scattering of ashes at sea. Our company, by design, law, and USCG requirements, is going to be able to accommodate more passengers, is safer, and has much higher safety qualifications than a company that can only accommodate six passengers.

The USCG oversees all activities on the water concerning boating operations, boating licensing, inspections, and certifications for your safety. That is a very important statement:  It is all about your safety. The vessel must meet all USCG standards for the business and its operations to even exist. They oversee everything and well they should.

The operator of the vessel must be licensed as a captain. This takes rigorous education, training, and many hours of experience. He has to be in a drug and alcohol testing program and certified in First Aid and CPR. He must also have his Transportation license and must demonstrate his skills and capabilities to the USCG. Skill tests such as Man-Overboard and Fire must be performed, practiced monthly and recorded in the Ship’s log.

The vessel has to be appropriately insured, of sound working order, and have all required equipment up to date. This includes electronics, a bilge alarm system, an emergency lighting system, a Certified fixed fire system, engine room fire insulation, railings at 39 1/2'”, gates, certified fire-fighting extinguishers and fire buckets with lanyards. A 24” life ring with throw line and beacon, proper life jackets which are lettered, have reflective tape and are stored in properly marked containers are also required. The vessel itself must pass a Stabilitiy Test, have proper Placards for a Waste Management Plan, Emergency Instructions and have up-to-date CO and smoke detectors. There are more items that have to be way above a recreational vessel’s requirements for your safety. Very few of these items are required for uninspected vessels.

USCG and USCG Auxiliary Inspections include drills, out-of-the-water and in-the-water examinations, paper work examinations, licensing as well as equipment and all systems. The State of California also requires licensing just to be able to dispose of ashes. We are even further licensed by the State as a non-profit public benefit charitable trust. We are the only non-profit company that performs burials-at-sea and are the only non-profit company in the United States that performs low-cost scattering-of-ashes at sea for the Military and Veterans.

Acquiring the licenses; purchasing and installing the new equipment and going through the process for your safety has been a very costly endeavor, but educational, fun, and highly rewarding. It is particularly comforting to see that the general public is so amazingly well protected by the USCG and the USCG Auxiliary. When you board the ‘Orion’, you will have the comfort and knowledge that you are in quite capable and safe hands as well as on a safe and seaworthy vessel that meets all USCG requirements. Pat’s son Sean is your licensed 100 ton Master Mariner Captain and Pat is your deck hand. Together, we have over 75 years of boat ownership and experience.

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.