Burial at Sea, also known as scattering of cremated remains (Cremains) is an ancient tradition. As far as anyone knows, this has been a practice as long as people have gone to sea. In earlier times, the body was sewn into a weighted shroud, usually of sailcloth. The body was then sent over the side, usually with an appropriate religious ceremony. For those aboard a ship during a committal service, the ceremony is both moving and memorable, giving them the chance to pay their respects to those who have served before them. Since World War II many service members, veterans, and family members have chosen to be buried at sea.
There are numerous reasons for choosing a burial at sea, including love of the sea, wishes of the deceased to be put to rest in the waters of “Paradise”, nautical background or experiences, spiritual associations with the ocean and uniqueness.
For many Sailors and Marines, there is not a more honored choice for their mortal remains than burial at sea.
Burial at sea is a means of final disposition of remains that is normally performed on United States Navy vessels. The committal ceremony is performed while the ship is deployed. Therefore, family members are not allowed to be present. Because we are not a U.S. Navy vessel, nor regulated as such, we are able to offer this ceremony to everyone (In addition to Military Veterans). Reel Patriot Charters offers a number of alternative services for families:
1.) Unattended ash scattering services. $300.00
2.) Viewing from shore services. $400.00
3.) Attended ash scattering services. $500.00
NOTE: Pricing is for a 1.5 hr. service. Additional time may be included for an additional charge.
Unattended ash scattering offers a dignified scattering option for family and loved ones who are unable to be present. The ashes are escorted via our vessel to beautiful Key West waters where they are ceremoniously released. Our unattended ash scattering service option gives family and loved ones that cannot be physically present for the service, a means to provide a peaceful interment of the deceased. The cremains will be scattered within 14 days of arrival in Key West.
Shore-side Viewing: allows a dignified scattering option for family and loved ones to witness the service from the shore. Possible locations: Key West’s beaches, White Street Pier, or from one of our several pre-coordinated locations surrounding the Key West harbor and nearby waters.
Family attended services give family and loved ones the ability to attend the dignified scattering service on board our vessel. Our vessel can accommodate up to 6 passengers. Our vessel has indoor and outdoor seating, A/C, full bathroom services, and coolers for snacks and beverages. With our family attended ash scattering service, the entire vessel is reserved for only your group.
Our vessel will depart Key West Harbor Yacht Club and reach a pre-selected service location; once our vessel reaches the destination, the ceremony is performed. A Burial At Sea Certificate with the latitude and longitude coordinates are later provided to the family’s Person Authorized to Direct Disposition (PADD) upon request. Services performed vary in both cost and duration based on your wishes. Underway time for a burial at sea service lasts approximately 1 1/2 hours. We can accommodate almost any wish. If a larger vessel is needed to accommodate a larger size family, we will work with you, although it will take more coordination and longer planning time, but we will make it happen. We understand the challenges that can come with such a loss of a loved one. We pride ourselves in providing a professional and respectful service handling each ceremony with dignity and honor. Military personnel participating or attending the services shall wear the Uniform of the Day. When a chaplain of appropriate faith is not available, the Vessel Captain may read the service.
After the death of the individual for whom the request for Burial at Sea is being made, the Person Authorized to Direct Disposition (PADD) should contact us via email at ReelPatriotCharters@Gmail.com or by using our Website contact form. Supporting documents which must accompany this request are: (1) a certified photocopy of the death certificate; (2) the burial transit permit or the cremation certificate; and (3) a copy of the DD Form 214, discharge certificate, or retirement order (as applicable).
The PADD may send a flag with the cremains to be flown on the vessel during the committal service. Following the services at sea, that flag will be returned to the PADD.
Cremains must be in an urn, and may be in a temporary (plastic/metal/cardboard) container to prevent spillage in shipping. The cremains, along with the completed Burial at Sea package, and the burial flag will be forwarded to the Reel Patriot Charters Burial At Sea Coordinator. Prior to shipment, it is recommended that a phone call be made to confirm the request and shipping details with the coordinator. It is recommended that the packaged cremains be sent via certified mail, return receipt requested.
The cremains are transferred from the urn (container) you provide, to a wicker basket lined with biodegradable paper. The Captain, lowers the basket with voluntary assistance from family members (when present), into the ocean or "lowering the cremains to the deep."
Yes. We require at least one week advance notice but will do our best to accommodate your needs on short notice.
The Request & Authorization for Scattering Cremains Form can be downloaded from our site and sent during the coordination phase planning the Burial At Sea.
We need a death certificate from the County Health Department from the county of death.
You are free to wear whatever clothing you feel comfortable in. We recommend matching your clothing with the current weather conditions and services. Feel free to check our website for the current weather conditions.
Yes, we are very flexible and we do our best to fulfill all requests.
Normally arriving 15-30 minutes before our scheduled departure is sufficient.
If you are interested in having Military services take part in your service you would need to make arrangements with the local Naval Air Station Key West Honor Guard Coordinator at 305 293 2268.
Distance varies based on the selected location. In many cases ash scattering services are within one mile from shore depending on the type of service.
Payment can be made by personal check, money order, cashier's check, or by credit card (all major cards accepted). A deposit of 50% will be rendered at booking. The balance can be paid anytime prior to the vessels departure. Payments made by credit card can be done so over the phone. If you are mailing a payment, please make checks and money orders payable to Reel Patriot Charters. Payments can be mailed to:
Reel Patriot Charters
813 Sigsbee Rd. Suite 185
Key West, Fl. 33040
We will perform an unattended ash scattering service no more than 14 days after receipt, normally on a date/day requested (weather permitting). A memorial certificate indicating the date and location of the scattering service upon request.
Yes, it's actually been proven to be the best, fastest, and most reliable method. The USPS will ship cremains as long as these instructions are followed. The container/urn of ashes must be placed into leak proof packaging (plastic bag), boxed, and sealed (taped). This box must be placed into a secondary shipping box and sealed. Make sure to place packing material (bubble wrap, foam, paper, etc.) into the shipping box to reduce internal movement. The package must be sent USPS Registered Mail. It is also very important to declare the contents by writing "Cremated Remains" on the addressed side of the shipping box. Some other delivery providers will not accept cremains due to liability restrictions. It is recommended you check with your local Postal Office for the most current requirements.
Family and friends are welcome to bring flowers or wreaths for placing into the ocean during the ceremony. We will coordinate arranging for flowers or a wreath with the family if unable to attend. All flower ties or floral arrangement material must be made of biodegradable materials if being placed in the ocean.
We provide multiple locations: near our sandy beaches, just past our reef or a beautiful sunset viewing location. Locations that are farther from Key West are available but may require additional travel time. Please ask us for different options.
For immediate service call our direct number at 305.747.0371, email us at ReelPatriotCharters@Gmail.com, or use our Website contact form.
Call Reel Patriot Charters to set up the scattering of cremated remains. You can either have them shipped directly to us or bring the ashes down in person.
The cremation remains container/urn must be placed into leak proof packaging (plastic bag), boxed, and sealed (taped). This box must be placed into a secondary shipping box and sealed. Make sure to place packing material (bubble wrap, foam, paper, etc.) into the shipping box to reduce internal movement.
The United States Postal Service Registered Mail is the only way to ship cremated remains. Fill out the Registered Mail shipping label with both the shipping and return address. The card will be mailed to you with the signature of the person who received the cremation remains.
Identify and declare the package does contain cremated remains. This must be noted on the addressed side of the shipping box.
In a separate attached envelope please fill out and enclose the Request & Authorization for Scattering Cremains Form.
Go to the nearest post office and ship the cremation remains via Registered Mail.
MAIL TO: Captain Chip Jewell
Reel Patriot Charters, Inc.
813 Sigsbee Rd. Suite 185
Key West, Fl. 33040
The Person Authorized to Direct Disposition will receive a confirmation of receipt of cremains.
Consequitur, Non Excusat -- Results, Not Excuses