Burial at sea in the Hindu religion was once only permitted in the Ganges River, but with Hindus now living around the globe it is permissible to scatter at sea in the location that’s most convenient to the family.
Because Hindu funeral service rituals vary by sects, it’s best to speak with your priest or spiritual advisor for additional information regarding burial at sea, immersing of the ashes.
Planning for a Hindu Burial at Sea
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Port: Know the port of departure or tell us your zip code and Teraloom source our closest vessels.
Passenger Count: Have an idea of your passenger count. Vessels fall into 2 categories - 1 to 6 passengers, and 7 or more passengers. Note: Not all sizes are available in all ports. Per Coast Guard Regulations, everyone on board other than the captain and crew count as passengers, this includes children, priests or spiritual advisors.
Date: Your cremation provider will confirm the day the cremated remains will be returned to you. You can schedule an ash scattering memorial service at the soonest time available to family and friends.
Time of Departure: Generally expect to leave the dock mid to late afternoon. If you require a morning departure expect the cost to be higher because you would be going out at prime time.
With the exception of babies and children, all Hindus are expected to be cremated. Traditionally the cremation is performed within 24 hours of death with the immersing of ashes one day after the Hindu Funeral. With the rise of cremation - now over 50% in the US - the cremation may be delayed because crematoriums are operating at capacity.
Hindus living in the US face additional delays because the EPA requires that cremated remains be disbursed three miles from a shoreline, obviously requiring a boat. Additionally, it isn’t always possible to arrange for a burial at sea with such a short notice, mainly because commercial charter boats are previously booked. Some Hindu sects require the scattering of the ashes take place before noon. This can be particularly difficult to arrange because the morning is considered prime time where a captain would expect a minimum of a four- to six-hour charter and charge accordingly. The average burial at sea funeral service takes between one to two hours depending on the port of departure and how long it takes to get out to sea. Many marinas are a bit inland which offers protection to docked vessels, but traveling through the inland waterways is restricted to a five mile an hour “No Wake Zone” until the vessel has reached open seas. This adds time to overall duration of the voyage.
Teraloom understands the challenge faced by having to arrange for a sea scattering under these circumstances.