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Thread: Spreading Ashes at Sea

  1. #1
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    Default Spreading Ashes at Sea

    Hi,

    Sorry for such a morbid post, but thought this would be a good place to start. My best friend passed away recently and his last wish was for half of his cremated remains to be spread at sea in Bonaire. The funeral home will be putting them in a container suitable for travel that meets TSA guidelines.

    Does anyone know the legalities behind this as far as bringing human ashes on the island and spreading them at sea? Is this permissible. Do I need special permission from the government or a special permit?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Garrett

  2. #2
    Cornhusker is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    not morbid to me as I have directions for my wife to do the same thing. I am not certain of the rules, if any, however you should be aware that some tributes do exist underwater at various dive sites as a memory or tribute to people who valued their time on Bonaire. What was neat was one larger one appeared to be stainless steel and while it was not native to the sea, the living creatures quickly made it part of their underwater kingdom. This will be our 16th trip and I am retiring this fall and hope to spend 2-3 months on Bonaire in 2019. I enjoy the island and people, and personally would have a hard time believing my limited amount of ashes would do damage to the reef when compared to the truck tires and other litter I see when we dive. Again just my 2-cents but I would believe Stinapa would be 1st place to contact. If you are on Bonaire their office is up by Oil Slick Leap, or even better option might be to send them an email.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the suggestion...contacting Stinapa is a good idea. I will do that.

  4. #4
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    As per Cornhusker my wife and I will have our ashes delivered to the waters of Bonaire.
    It is our wish and will happen regardless.
    A reply from STINAPA and answering this same question in would be appreciated.

  5. #5
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    This is a stretch of my memory (it's been really cold here)...I seem to recall in my internet travels seeing an entity that would make ashes into a reef enhancing formation that could be placed as such. Would be worth researching?
    "Stay in school, work hard, stay out of trouble and when you grow up, you can pay for those who didn't."

  6. #6
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    This is the reply I received from STINAPA 1/8/2018

    Dear Mr. Myers,

    There is no particular law regarding disposal of cremains into our waters. We always advice the families to dispose in areas that are not visited at the moment, meaning in front of other users. We wish you a quite farewell ceremony, may he/her soul rest in peace.

    Best regards,

  7. #7
    DrDirector is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    For BajaPilot: Your memory is good. The item you are talking about are Reef Balls, and they can be made by mixing cremains into the concrete used for the reef ball. A link to the site is http://www.eternalreefs.com/. I had looked into them quite a few years ago also, but decided not to go that route. Interestingly, while diving with a friend at the northern end of Bari Reef, I saw a number of reef balls there. Don't know if they were created with cremains or just created as an artificial reef.

    Mark

  8. #8
    tursiops's Avatar
    tursiops is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1bajapilot View Post
    This is a stretch of my memory (it's been really cold here)...I seem to recall in my internet travels seeing an entity that would make ashes into a reef enhancing formation that could be placed as such. Would be worth researching?
    http://www.reefball.org/
    There used to be Reef Balls in front of Sand Dollar, with STINAPA involved in the project Circa 2006. I don't know if they are still there or not, I haven't looked recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by grunt View Post
    This is the reply I received from STINAPA 1/8/2018

    Dear Mr. Myers,

    There is no particular law regarding disposal of cremains into our waters. We always advice the families to dispose in areas that are not visited at the moment, meaning in front of other users. We wish you a quite farewell ceremony, may he/her soul rest in peace.

    Best regards,
    Terrific! Thanks for this.
    Mel Briscoe, Alexandria, Virginia

  9. #9
    coldwaterlloyd Lurker

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    That is very nice of Stinapa for sure , now airport security ....

  10. #10
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    I got a similar reply from STINAPA - no issues with spreading ashes at sea in Bonaire. I did a little research on flying with remains. Here are rules for a couple of airlines:

    American Airlines: Allowed. “When you travel with cremated remains, they’ll be treated as carry-on baggage. No special documentation is needed if you’re traveling domestically, but please contact a local consulate or burial advisor if you’re traveling internationally since the rules vary.”

    Delta: Allowed, but death/cremation certificate required. “Cremated remains can be accepted as either carry-on, checked baggage or shipped unaccompanied as cargo. The passenger must have a death or cremation certificate.”

    United: Allowed as a carry-on only and required documentation. “If you’re traveling with cremated human remains, they need to be transported as carry-on baggage. For travel within the U.S., it’s highly recommended that you travel with appropriate documentation (such as a document from the funeral home or a death certificate) to present during TSA screening.
    Last edited by gman; 01-23-2018 at 07:41 PM.

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