Burial at Sea

United States Navy Mortuary Affairs

 

Burial At Sea Program

Please read through this entire page.

Burial at Sea is a means of final disposition of remains that is 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. The commanding officer of the ship assigned to perform the ceremony will notify the family of the date, time, and, longitude and latitude once the committal service has been completed.

Eligibility: Individuals eligible for this program are: (1) active duty members of the uniformed services; (2) retirees and veterans who were honorably discharged. (3) U.S. civilian marine personnel of the Military Sealift Command; and (4) dependent family members of active duty personnel, retirees, and veterans of the uniformed services.

How to get Started: 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 print out and complete the linked Burial at Sea Request Form.  Supporting documents which must accompany this request are: (1) a 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. The Burial at Sea Request Form and the three supporting documents make up the Burial at Sea Request package.

Burial Flag: A Burial Flag is required for all committal services performed aboard United States Naval vessels, except family members, who are not authorized a burial flag. Following the services at sea, the flag that accompanied the cremains/remains will be returned to the PADD. If the PADD does not wish to send a burial flag for the service, a flag will be provided by the Navy for the committal service, but will not be sent to the PADD.

Cremated Remains (Cremains): Cremains must be in an urn or plastic/metal container to prevent spillage in shipping. The cremains, along with the completed Burial at Sea Request package, and the burial flag will be forwarded to the Burial at Sea Coordinator at the desired port of embarkation (listed below). Prior to shipment, it is recommended that a phone call be made informing the coordinator of the pending request. It is also recommended that the cremains package be sent via certified mail, return receipt requested.

Intact Remains (Casketed): Specific guidelines are required for the preparation of casketed remains. All expenses incurred in this process are the responsibility of the PADD, who will select a funeral home in the area of the port of embarkation. After this selection has been made and notification has been provided to the coordinator, the casketed remains, the request form, supporting documents, and the burial flag are to be forwarded to the receiving funeral home. The coordinator will make the inspection and complete the checklist for the preparation of casketed remains. It is recommended that funeral homes responsible for preparing and shipping intact remains contact Navy Mortuary Affairs at the Military Medical Support Office in Great Lakes, Ill., to receive the preparation requirements.

PORTS OF EMBARKATION / COORDINATORS

NORFOLK, VA

Commander, Naval Medical Center

ATTN: Code 0210C

620 John Paul Jones Cir.

Portsmouth, VA 23708-5100

Phone: (757) 953-2617\2618

JACKSONVILLE, FL

Officer in Charge

Naval Hospital Branch Clinic

Naval Station

Mayport, FL 32228

Phone: (904) 270-4285

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX

Commanding Officer

Naval Hospital

ATTN: Code 0104

10651 "E" Street

Corpus Christi, TX

Phone: (361) 961-2255

SAN DIEGO, CA

Commanding Officer

Naval Medical Center

ATTN: Code 22-BAS

San Diego, CA 92134-5000

Phone: (619) 532-8305

(800) 290-7410

BREMERTON, WA

Commanding Officer

Naval Hospital

ATTN: Code 015

Bremerton, WA 98312-5008

Phone: (206) 475-4387/4303

HONOLULU, HI

Navy Liaison Unit

Tripler Army Medical Center

Tripler AMC, HI 96859-5000

Phone: (808) 433-6611

For More Assistance: If you have any questions about the Burial at Sea program, please contact the United States Navy Mortuary Affairs office toll-free at 1-888-647-6676, and select option 4.

 

 

 

 

 

Share This Page

This is an Official US Navy Website
Switch to Full Site
Switch to Mobile Site