burial at seaHave you ever had romantic notions of being buried at sea? This is certainly not for me (I’ve been seasick on the Manly ferry), but if you have, your surviving relatives will have to apply for a very dignified “sea dumping permit” pursuant to section 19 of the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981 (Cth) (and regulations).

Apart from paying an application fee of $1,675 (it also costs $12,700 if you want to dump a vessel at sea or $10,000 for an artificial reef permit), there is a whole host of information that you will need to provide including:

  • evidence of a demonstrated connection to the sea (whether you were a sailor, mariner or fisherman etc);
  • whether burial at sea was requested in the will;
  • the death certificate or Coroner’s order¬† (obviously);
  • the latitude/longitude of the burial site including distance from land and closest town or city and why that site was chosen;
  • depth of water at the burial site which must be more than 3000 meters (apparently Sydney Harbour is about 60m deep, so I’m not sure how far you have to go to get to this depth); and
  • all sorts of details about the vessel used to transport the body, preparation of the body etc etc.

You can download the application form from the DCCEEW (Dept of Agriculture and Environment) website.

One last thing – you don’t need a permit just to scatter the ashes.

Creative commons acknowledgement for the photograph.

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