our everyday life

How to Scatter Ashes at Sea in Florida

by Carol Ann Marshall

Perhaps your loved one expressed the desire to have his ashes scattered at sea in Florida. Or perhaps you believe that would be the most fitting tribute to his memory. You will be comforted to know that Florida does not prohibit this practice. There are no special permits that you need to acquire. "Ocean scattering," the act of spreading a loved one's ashes across the open sea, can be accomplished either with the assistance of a professional cremation service or on your own.

Some people elect to save the urn as a rememberance of their loved one.

Purchase an urn suitable to your needs. A biodegradable urn allows you to throw the urn with the ashes into the ocean. Selecting a biodegradable urn eliminates problems caused by wind or strong waves. Others prefer to spread the ashes over the waters and keep the urn as a remembrance. This is a highly personal decision that will differ from individual to individual. You must consider your decision carefully.

You will need to charter, borrow or otherwise secure a boat to comply with U.S. code requiring that you cast the ashes at least three miles from the shoreline. U.S. code also requests that you report the details prior to the ocean scattering to the EPA Regional Office closest to the location.

Be sure to dispense the ashes from the back of the boat.

After you have arrived at the desired location, turn your boat into the wind and dispense the ashes from the back of the boat. Drop anchor at this time to assist in keeping the boat turned toward the wind. If you are pouring the ashes into the water and keeping the urn, get as close to the water as possible to avoid splashback.

A bouqet of flowers is a beautiful tribute to your loved one.

Take along a bouquet of flowers to throw into the water after you have dispensed the ashes. This can be a very touching tribute. Make note of navigational coordinates so that you can return to commemorate the occasion.

Items you will need
  • Boat
  • Cremation urn with ashes

About the Author

Carol Ann Marshall has been a writer since 1989. She served as a newspaper reporter for "The Baltimore Sun," a freelance writer for several publications and publisher of "Body and Fitness News." Marshall holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Towson State University and a Master of Arts in media communications from New York University.

Photo Credits

  • sunset at Sunset Beach image by louloua asgaraly from Fotolia.com