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Old 09-06-2009, 18:45   #1
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Burial on the St. Johns?

June 7th one of the boaters here came to an untimely death. Someone suggested to lay his ashes in the river. I am wondering what agency can give an answer if it is legal, or not?
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Old 09-06-2009, 18:54   #2
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You probably remember Burial at Sea Regs ? recently, i2f, and from s/vFaith in that thread comes one of the all-time great quotes:
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Originally Posted by s/v 'Faith' View Post
The ashes are quite sterile, nothing harmful is going to survive cremation. While someone in a position of authority may have an opinion if asked, I would not be interested to know what it is. The wishes of the deceased, and those left behind, are a much more significant consideration IMHO.
I say do your duty to the deceased without asking permission.

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Old 09-06-2009, 19:23   #3
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an interesting river

Not only is the St. Johns one of the very few north-flowing rivers in the Americas, but in over 300 miles the river only descends 30 feet from its headwaters to its delta. Consequently, in terms of flow rate it's said to be one of the laziest rivers in the world.

Can't imagine a better place to take a final swim. Unfortunately, while human ashes tend to be sterile, as SV Faith states, they are not entirely non-toxic. The major problem is mercury, most of which comes from our dental amalgams. Indeed, there has been serious discussion of the need for tooth removal prior to cremation in order to detoxify the scattering process. (Apologies if anyone finds this unsettling, but the fact remains that mercury contamination is a huge environmental concern.)

Bottom line: scattering the ashes at sea would be less of a ecological concern than scattering them in the St. Johns.
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Old 09-06-2009, 20:52   #4
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There are a few hundred million things that any sane person should worry about before amalgams containing mercury. It's coal fired power plants that are the immediate concern. It doesn't seem to be that much of a concern to the greenies because they have stopped any new construction of nuclear power facilities for the past 30 years. Nuclear is the only viable non polluting power generating technology that is currently available.

Toss the ashes, don't ask.

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Old 09-06-2009, 21:07   #5
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How on earth did a question about scattering ashes justify a rant about "greenies" and nuclear power?

Informally asked a friend and know of no legal issues. Follow the wishes of the family.
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Old 09-06-2009, 21:19   #6
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a few hundred million things, precisely

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There are a few hundred million things that any sane person should worry about before amalgams containing mercury.
Mercury and Wildlife - Bioaccumulation - National Wildlife Federation

Mercury and the Environment - Environment and Health - Environmental Concerns

Dental Amalgams; US Food and Drug Administration
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Old 09-06-2009, 21:46   #7
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Old 09-06-2009, 22:40   #8
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Originally Posted by TaoJones View Post
I say do your duty to the deceased without asking permission. TaoJones
Hell, I2f, why in this messed up, crazy, bureaucratic, PC world, makes you even contemplate not doing what your fellow sailor's last request was???

Do you worry, about 100s of 1000s of living entities dying as a result of your spreading a few human ashes???

Pleeeeease, give me a break, and more importantly your mate's last wishes a break ...

To rephrase TJ's above quote, and with all due respect to Nike: JUST DO IT!
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:27   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaoJones View Post
You probably remember Burial at Sea Regs ? recently, i2f, and from s/vFaith in that thread comes one of the all-time great quotes:I say do your duty to the deceased without asking permission.
TaoJones
Donít ask, Donít tell

According to the EPA, burial of cremated remains may be performed no closer than 3NM offshore, or in inland waters, with State permit as required. As far as I know, Florida Law does not prohibit scattering ashes.

There are no "scattering ashes police" in any state to ensure proper etiquette, permits, or permission are obtained and used. There are no health, safety or environmental issues to be concerned about. Your own moral compass/judgment can be equally right within the reasons of common sense.

Burials or scatterings that take place within three miles of shore fall under the Clean Water Act. ➥ Summary of CWA | Laws, Regulations, Guidance & Dockets | US EPA


40CFR229.1
TITLE 40--PROTECTION OF ENVIRONMENT

Sea Burial | Ocean Dumping | Region 4 | US EPA

Sec. 229.1 Burial at sea.
(a) All persons subject to title I of the Act are hereby granted a general permit to transport human remains from the United States and all persons owning or operating a vessel or aircraft registered in the United States or flying the United States flag and all departments, agencies, or instrumentalities of the United States are hereby granted a general permit to transport human remains from any location for the purpose of burial at sea and to bury such remains at sea subject to the following conditions:
(1) Except as herein otherwise provided, human remains shall be prepared for burial at sea and shall be buried in accordance with accepted practices and requirements as may be deemed appropriate and desirable by the United States Navy, United States
Coast Guard, or civil authority charged with the responsibility for making such arrangements;
(2) Burial at sea of human remains which are not cremated shall take place no closer than 3 nautical miles from land and in water no less than one hundred fathoms (six hundred feet) deep and in no less than three hundred fathoms (eighteen hundred feet) fro
(i) 27 deg.30'00'' to 31 deg.00'00'' North Latitude off St. Augustine and Cape Canaveral, Florida;
(ii) 82 deg.20'00'' to 84 deg.00'00'' West Longitude off Dry Tortugas, Florida; and
(iii) 87 deg.15'00'' to 89 deg.50'00'' West Longitude off the Mississippi River Delta, Louisiana, to Pensacola, Florida.
All necessary measures shall be taken to ensure that the remains sink to the bottom rapidly and permanently; and
(3) Cremated remains shall be buried in or on ocean waters without regard to the depth limitations specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section provided that such burial shall take place no closer than 3 nautical miles from land.
(b) For purposes of this section and Secs. 229.2 and 229.3, ``land'' means that portion of the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured, as provided for in the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, which is in closest proximity to the proposed disposal site.
(c) Flowers and wreaths consisting of materials which are readily decomposable in the marine environment may be disposed of under the general permit set forth in this section at the site at which disposal of human remains is authorized.
(d) All burials conducted under this general permit shall be reported within 30 days to the Regional Administrator of the Region from which the vessel carrying the remains departed.




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Old 10-06-2009, 08:49   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSovereign View Post
Hell, I2f, why in this messed up, crazy, bureaucratic, PC world, makes you even contemplate not doing what your fellow sailor's last request was???

Do you worry, about 100s of 1000s of living entities dying as a result of your spreading a few human ashes???

Pleeeeease, give me a break, and more importantly your mate's last wishes a break ...

To rephrase TJ's above quote, and with all due respect to Nike: JUST DO IT!
Because everything I did wrong as a kid I got caught for! It would really piss me off if by chance I was caught, cuffed, and penalized, so I am asking. It will most likely be off my boat, because the man said it was the best sail he ever had, and my boat will accommodate a lot of people. You asked so there's my frikking answer, and thanks to the rest of you with your help........i2f
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:28   #11
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I believe its against the law...........but do it, thats what they wanted.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:33   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
... Someone suggested to lay his ashes in the river...
It doesn't appear that this was a dying wish, or anything dramatic - just a nice idea to memorialize a friend.
Lets not get all knotted up.
I don't believe it's against the law.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:49   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
Because everything I did wrong as a kid I got caught for! It would really piss me off if by chance I was caught, cuffed, and penalized, so I am asking. It will most likely be off my boat, because the man said it was the best sail he ever had, and my boat will accommodate a lot of people. You asked so there's my frikking answer, and thanks to the rest of you with your help........i2f
I understand much better now where you're coming from, i2f, and I agree that doing it by the book is the smart way to go. When you're on the river, you're always in someone's line-of-sight, so it would be hard to conduct any kind of service or ceremony without someone noticing. If you were offshore, even less than three miles out, it's much less likely that anyone would see or object.

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Old 10-06-2009, 10:56   #14
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It wasn't his wish at all. It was a sudden death, and the river took his life after a foolish act of his own. A very good person, he loved the river, and his boat although he wasn't much of sailor, he was a hell of a good person. His family is far away, and have left it up to his close buddy to make decisions. Thanks again for your input......i2f
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:57   #15
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As always thanks Tao for your insight.......i2f
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