burial at sea san diego





Burial at Sea San Diego Frequently Asked Questions


How are the cremains (ashes) dispersed into the ocean?

Scattering ashes can be done several ways. The most popular ways is to simply pour the cremains directly from the original container into the ocean. Special urns are now made for burials at sea. They are 100% biodegradable and can be placed into the ocean. This method limits the amount of handling. The cremains can also be placed into to a wicker basket lined with biodegradable paper and then lowered into the ocean. Family and friends can participate in "lowering the cremains to the deep" by assisting in letting go of the rope.

Do you need an Officiant?

No. You are not required to have an Officiant to perform your service. Typlically family members and friends will assume the roll. If you would like an Officiant and do not already have a church or place of worship figure that is available we recommend having one of our skilled captains read a short prayer or poem.

Are services available on weekends?

We provide burial at sea services on both weekdays and weekends. Services can be customized to accommodate almost any time request. However, we do find that early morning (between 10am - 11am) trips are a little better due to the waters being at their calmest point.

Can you accommodate special requests for scattering?

Yes, we are very flexible and we do our best to fulfill all requests.

Do I have to make a reservation?

Yes. Although we can arrange scattering of ashes services within a day, reservations made a week or more prior to the selected date enables us to provide the highiest degree of service. Which is what we pride ourselves on.

Can we set an appointment for the scattering of ashes service?

Yes. Appointments are usually made to gather attendees at the landing for subsequent departure. Usually arriving 15 minutes before scheduled departure is sufficient. We require that all attendees fill out a coast guard manifest (passenger list) prior to departure. This process usually takes a few minutes. The manifest can be completed beforehand as well and dropped off in our office prior to departure.

Do you have restrooms on board?

Yes. We have modern toilets and running water.

For families on a tight budget, what do you offer?

Our unattended ash scattering service is the most economical option with the total cost of $180. We offer several other types of services with option that can fit almost any budget. We are flexible and can customize your service to meet your personal standards at a price that is affordable.

How can I contact a veteran's organization to provide color guard, taps, salute, etc., for a veteran?

If you are interested in having Military services take part in your service you would need to make arrangments with the Military Funeral Honors Program. The National Guard is formally directed to provide support at funerals for eligible Veterans.

Are your captains Coast Guard Certified?

Burial at Sea San Diego has provided ash scattering services to families from all over the United States of America. All of our captains are Coast Guard Certified.

How far do we go offshore?

Distance varies based on the selected location. In many cases ash scattering services are within 500 yards to ½ mile from shore.

How is payment made and when?

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 Pacifica Marketing Group. Payments can be mailed to:

Pacifica Marketing Group
3639 Midway Dr B-200
San Diego, CA 92110


How large are the vessels, and how many passengers can attend?

We have several vessels that range from 37 to 85 feet in length that can accommodate from 1 to 24 passengers. 

How long is the burial at sea service?

A standard trip is approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours depending on how long you wish to remain on site. Additional hours and other locals such as Crystal Pier or La Jolla require additional travel time and may have additional rates.

How will I know when and where the unattended scattering took place?

We will perform an unattended ash scattering service no more than 14 days after receipt. Typically we will perform the service within the week. After the service is preformed you will receive a memorial certificate indicating the date of the scattering service. The memorial certificate will also contain the latitude and longitude of where the ashes were scattered.

How will I know where dispersal took place?

We will provide you the exact longitude and latitude coordinates where the cremains were released. You can "revisit" the exact site if you wish. We offer a revisit service for $480.

Is sending the cremains by US Postal Service a proven and reliable method?

Yes, it's 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.

Is the cruise safe for children?

Yes, railings around the boat and a large enclosed area offer both safety and comfort. We have never had an incident with any of our burial at sea services. You must provide a USCG safety vest foe all attendees under the age of 13.

Is there room to walk around the boat?

Yes. The outside areas as well as enclosed areas are very spacious. Our large vessels offer ample room for all passengers attending.

What about providing flowers & wreaths?

Family and friends can bring flowers or wreaths for tossing into the ocean immediately after the cremains are scattered. All flower ties or floral arrangement material must be made of biodegradable materials if being placed in the ocean. Flower services are available through our vendors.

What are the locations available for scattering at sea?

We provide a complete selection of locations from Coronado and the Hotel Del Coronado, to Point Loma and Sunset Cliffs. Locations that are farther from the San Diego are available but may require additional travel time. Please ask us for different options.

How would I best contact you?
For immediate service call our direct number at (619) 887-5443

Feel free to email us at info@burialatseasandiego.org
Our direct mail address is: 3639 Midway Dr. B-200, San Diego, CA 92110


What kind of documents do you need to scatter the cremains?

The "Authorization for Scattering Cremains" form can be downloaded from our site.It can be brought with you the day of your attended service or sent in with the cremains if you select to do an unattended disposition. Click Here For Form

What kind of official documents do you need to scatter ashes?

We need a copy of the death certificate issued by the County Health Department of where the death occured, and a burial permit from the County Vital Statistics Office San Diego County California. Permits from surrounding counties are accepted if the permit states that disposition is to take place "In The Pacific Ocean Off the Coast of San Diego County".

What type of clothing/shoes/hat/glasses should we wear?

You are free to wear whatever clothing you feel comfortable in. We recommend matching your clothing with the current weather conditions. Heels, hard soled shoes or shoes with black soles are not recommended on a moving vessel. Feel free to give us a call if you are unsure of the current weather conditions.

Mick Moore