United States Navy Mortuary Affairs
Burial At Sea Program

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BURIAL AT SEA (BAS) is a means of final disposition of remains, that is performed on United States Naval vessels. The committal ceremony is performed while the ship is deployed, therefore, family members are not allowed to be present. The commanding officer of the ship assigned to perform the ceremony will make notification to the family of the date, time, latitude and longitude, once the committal service has been completed.

Eligibility: Individuals eligible for this program are: (1) active duty members of the uniformed services; (2) retirees and veterans who were honorably discharged. (3) U.S. civilian marine personnel of the Military Sealift Command; and (4) dependent family members of active duty personnel, retirees, and veterans of the uniformed services.

How to get Started: After the death of the individual for whom the request for Burial at Sea is being made, the Person Authorized to Direct Disposition (PADD) should print out and complete the linked Burial at Sea Request Form. Supporting documents which must accompany this request are: (1) a photocopy of the death certificate; (2) the burial transit permit or the cremation certificate; and (3) a copy of the DD Form 214, discharge certificate, or retirement order.

Burial Flag: A Burial Flag, is required for all committal services performed aboard United States Naval vessels, with the exception of family members who are not authorized a burial flag. The PADD may wish to send a flag with the remains/cremains to be flown on the vessel during the committal service. Following the services at sea, that flag will be returned to the PADD. If the PADD does not wish to send a burial flag, the ship's flag will be flown during the committal service, but no flag will be forwarded to the family.

Cremated Remains (Cremains): Cremains must be in an urn, may be temporary (plastic/metal/cardboard) container to prevent spillage in shipping. The cremains, along with the completed BAS package, and the burial flag will be forwarded to the Burial-at-Sea Coordinator at the desired port of embarkation (listed below). Prior to shipment, it is recommended that a phone call be made informing the coordinator of the pending request. It is recommended that the packaged cremains be sent via certified mail, return receipt requested.

Intact Remains (Casketed): Specific Specific guidelines are required for the preparation of casketed remains to be buried at sea. Remains must be in a metal casket. All expenses incurred in this process are the responsibility of the PADD, who will select a funeral home in the area of the port of embarkation. Remains are not forwarded to the receiving funeral home until the coordinator is notified a ship has been assigned and an embarkation date is anticipated. The coordinator will advise regarding shipment to the receiving funeral home to allow sufficient time for casket preparation. The casketed remains, the request form, supporting documents, and the burial flag are to be forwarded to the receiving funeral home. Once the receiving funeral home has the casket prepared, the coordinator will make the inspection and complete the checklist for the preparation of casketed remains. It is recommended that funeral homes responsible for preparing and shipping intact remains, contact Navy Mortuary Affairs at the Military Medical Support Office in Great Lakes, Illinois to receive the preparation requirements. NOTE: Norfolk and San Diego are the only ports for embarkation of intact remains.

PORTS OF EMBARKATION / COORDINATORS

Norfolk, Va.

Commander, Naval Medical Center
ATTN: Code 0210C
620 John Paul Jones Cir.
Portsmouth, VA 23708-5100
Phone: (757) 953-2617\2618

Jacksonville, Fla.

Branch Medical Clinic
P. O. Box 280148
Naval Station
Mayport, FL 32228-0148
Phone: (904) 270-4285

San Diego, Calif.

Naval Medical Center
Decedent Affairs Code: BUB
34800 Bob Wilson Drive
San Diego, CA 92134-5000
Phone: (800) 290-7410

Bremerton, Wash.

Commanding Officer
Naval Hospital Bremerton
Code: 015-BAS/HP01 Boone Road
Bremerton, WA 98312-1898
Phone: (360) 475-4790/4543

Honolulu, Hi.

Navy Liaison Unit
Tripler Army Medical Center
Tripler AMC, HI 96859-5000
Phone: (808) 433-4709, 577-7590

For More Assistance: If you have questions about our Burial-At-Sea program, please feel free to contact our office toll-free at 1-866-787-0081 and follow the voice menu.

Reviewed: 15 September 2009