Ash Scattering at Sea in San Diego


Healing -Uplifting – Beautiful – Sea Burial

Ash Scattering at Sea in San Diego
Ceremonies for Ash Scattering at Sea (Burial at Sea) are performed from a variety of locations off  San Diego such as Point Loma, Ocean Beach Pier, Crystal Pier, Del Mar, La Jolla or Cabrillo Monument in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
Our usual location is just south of Point Loma, in calm waters, with downtown San Diego and Hotel Del Coronado in the background, the waters at this location are  usually calm, so it is very rare for individuals to experience any sea sickness during an ash scattering.
The exact GPS position of the burial at sea – ash scattering -ceremony is recorded, so the site can be revisited in remembrance. This information is then used to complete the memorial certificate. As well, all souls on the yacht are given a memorial card with a web link to the certificate and pictures.

Burial at Sea – Ash Scattering Methods

There are many ways to perform burial at sea (ash scattering over the water) – all are very common, but some are preferable. Scattering directly from the container received from the cremation facility is probably the least preferred method and can be problematic. If any wind catches the ashes it can cause them to be “blown back” or stuck to the side of the yacht.
The following ash scattering methods are preferred.

The family will often also toss flowers or rose petals as a final tribute.

Bio-Degradable Urn

Bio-Degradable Turtle Urn for Ash Scattering
Bio-degradable urns are specifically designed to gradually disperse the ashes back to the sea. There are a few different types of bio-degradable urns suitable for water burial (paper based, salt or sand). Most common are the paper based which usually float for several minutes and then slowly sink where they will degrade. The  biodegradable turtle (shown above) is the most popular, but we do have several others in stock- be sure to ask us – For a more comprehensive listing see biodegradable urns.

Flower Basket Urn

Basket for Ash Scattering at Sea
Scattering from a basket is a very common method. Your loved ones ashes are placed in the urn / basket with rose petals intermixed as well as placed on top – perhaps with additional flowers of choice. The urn is then lowered to the water surface and the urn is inverted.

The rose petals float to the surface and the ashes disperse in the ocean – leaving a trail of rose petals trailing in the ocean current.

If is a very lovely presentation and a beautiful way to say goodbye.

Steel Urn

Cremains being lowered to ocean for ash scattering
Scattering from our stainless steel urn is also very nice. the cremains are layered with rose petals and extra rose petals are placed on top.

The urn is then lowered to the water surface and the urn is inverted.

The rose petals float to the surface and the ashes disperse in the ocean – leaving a trail of rose petals trailing in the ocean current.

Attended – Ash Scattering – Sea Burial

By far our most common type of burial at sea is having the family in attendance on the yacht. We encourage this, as it is such a great healing opportunity.

Often dolphins show up fairly often to investigate what is going on – always a great portent!

The Burial at Sea (Ash Scattering) ceremonies are performed from a variety of locations off the San Diego Coast – as OB Pier, Crystal Pier or Cabrillo Monument on Point Loma.

Our usual location south of Point Loma with downtown San Diego and Hotel Del Coronado in the background. The water is usually calm here, especially early day, this is helpful if family members are prone to sea-sickness.

Attended burial at sea - ash scattering
The actual form the ceremony takes is completely up to the family. A clergy member or family member is often designated to perform the ceremony with the assistance of the facilitator. The vessel Captain is also available to assist with the ceremony, such as when the captain read “Crossing the Bar – see videos“.

Families often request the reading of a special verse and music is often played – the ashes are then scattered. We provide rose petals free of charge which may be scattered but we also suggest additional flowers or wreaths to add to the beauty of the display in the ocean.  Extra flowers also helps additional family members participate.

We have been performing ash scattering at sea for many years and based upon our experiences, we highly recommend selecting a 3 hr charter, to allow for family bonding, socializing and just plain enjoying the bay.


This is a private scattering and only your family will be on the yacht.

You may also wish to think about more unique service venues such as a full moon or night scattering (very beautiful) or perhaps going out to sea beyond the sight of land.

It is also common that families will wish to revisit the site of the actual scattering on the anniversary of the ceremony.

Un-Attended – Ash Scattering – Sea Burial

On some occasions the departed family member wished to be scattering in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego, however the family is not able to attend.

In this instance, we are pleased to be able to scatter the cremains in your absence.  This is known as an un-attended ash scattering. If you are wishing to do an un-attended service, we will need an authorization letter signed.

We always treat the departed with dignity and respect, as if you were there and offer various options like we do for attended scatterings. The burial at Sea (Ash Scattering) ceremonies can still be performed from a variety of locations.  Our usual location is just south of Point Loma with downtown San Diego and Hotel Del Coronado in the background. There is a great view of the city here and  beautiful scenery.
All services are normally performed in a timely manner after our receipt of ashes (weather permitting).

 A memorial certificate is also sent to the family.

Shore Viewing – Ash Scattering

Sometimes families and friends may prefer not to attend the service on the water but view the ash scattering from shore. There are many places this may be done in San Diego but the spot usually selected for viewing is Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma. At this location, high above the ocean looking out to sea, you have a ideal location for viewing the actual ceremony.

Many times the viewing location is actually a pier – either Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach or OB Pier in Ocean Beach. The family will often throw flowers from the pier. It is also a more economical option for larger groups of people which perhaps could not be accommodated by yacht. Health issues also prevent some individuals from being on the yacht, especially people using walkers or wheelchairs. However, a pier is a very good vantage point to watch the ash scattering at sea.

California law prohibits performing the actual ash scattering from the pier – you need to be 500 yards from shore.

We do encourage people to be on the yacht for an ash scattering but when this is not possible a pier ash scattering may be what the family is looking for. Families often have a private memorial at this time sharing their private memories and prayers, and a shared moment of silence.
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