Sea offers a new wave in eco-friendly burials

November 14th, 2008 - 5:15 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Nov 14 (ANI): Increasing numbers of people in Britain are choosing to be buried at sea in order to get more eco-friendly.

More and more people are opting for a watery send-off at the two locations off the British coast - near Isle of Wight and Newhaven in East Sussex - where the burials are allowed.

Their bodies are wrapped in cotton sheets and placed inside plywood coffins, which have concrete attached.

Grieving relatives and friends are then taken on a boat to one of the two locations off the British coast.

John Lister, a director of the Britannia Shipping Company, based near Sidmouth, Devon, which has collected deposits from 150 people who have left instructions for a sea burial, said that everything would degrade.

Burials at sea are a 100 per cent green option, Timesonline quoted him, as saying.

The body must not be embalmed and is wrapped in a biodegradable cotton sheet. The coffin is made of marine plywood and nothing will be left of it after 36 to 40 months. There is no harm to the marine environment and the concrete which weights the coffin is broken down by salt water. Some people have the impression that we are somehow building an island of coffins but that is not the case. Each one breaks down, he added.

At these places no dredging, fishing, trawling or diving is allowed and the Marine and Fisheries Agency has to issue licences for every burial.

Fourteen sea burials have taken place this year and the number is expected to go up in future. People are even choosing the coast of their choice in their wills.

It is a costly affair at 4,000 pounds a head, compared to less than half that amount for a traditional burial in a graveyard. (ANI)

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