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Burial at sea


There was a time when burial at sea was fairly common; more recently, with increased use of cremation, the tendency has been to have cremation and scatter the ashes at sea.

There are no restrictions on scattering cremated remains at sea.

It is still possible to have a traditional burial at sea but there are restrictions to where it can take place. Typically, the burial takes place some miles south of the Needles, to the west of the Isle of Wight. The coffin is usually transported by a small ferry from Keyhaven, Milford-on-Sea and takes some hours for the round trip.

There are other restrictions, which are not necessarily onerous: the coffin and body must be weighted; the body must not be embalmed and must be free from fever and infection; the co-ordinates for the burial will be given by application to the Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

At Tapper Funeral Service, is we are well positioned to help with arrangements for a burial at sea. From the our main office in Poole, during the 1950's and 1960's we arranged burials that would often leave on the fishing boats from Poole Quay.

More recently, we have an office in Milford-on-Sea, which is a very short distance from Keyhaven and the ferry that is now required for burial.