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Aug 9, 2015 1:40 PM

Marine captain turns ocean burials into a successful business


Ocean burials - either scattering ashes or sinking a body at sea -- are growing in popularity, according to one man who's built a successful business around the custom.

Capt. Brad White, of New England Burials at Sea, told seacoastonline.com that he conducts ocean burials along the entire New England coast and has a list of 700 people who made reservations for their own ocean funerals.

A retired executive, he started the business in 2006.

White said he said he started the funeral business after a friend he took tuna fishing asked if he could scatter an uncle's ashes. Now he teaches funeral industry professionals about best practices for nautical burials.

White invented the "Atlantic Sea Burial Shroud" used for his full-body ocean burials and made from biodegradable cotton duck with channels for inserting the cannon balls for weight. The cannon balls are made by the same company that makes cannon balls for the U.S.S. Constitution and the shrouds can be customized with graphics or text, he said.

White said traditional in-ground burials are becoming less popular while cremation is on the rise. But some people don't like either of those options and "want to be part of the ocean," he said.

Costs for New England Ocean burials range from $495 to $4,450 and White has a menu of add-ons that include a bagpiper, rose petals and photography service.


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