Certainly, when choosing a firm to perform an unaccompanied service, credibility is important. This brings rise to your question as to how a client is guaranteed that the service was actually performed when they were not there to witness the actual scattering. The following assurances should be offered by a firm, as are provided by The Sea Burial.
1. The service should be performed by a licensed Coast Guard Master. He has earned his license as a sea captain through rigorous testing and through logged voyages. His log and license are federal documents, which he must preserve and which are governed by federal law. He would not put them at risk.
2. A scattering performed in the ocean to EPA regulations is reported to the Environmental Protection Agency. The report includes specific information about the deceased. It would be a crime to falsify these documents. Burials performed in bays or inlets, where permitted by law, may not require this reporting.
3. The reputation of the firm and its success is based solely on its credibility. No reputable firm, with its considerable investments in its business, advertising, trust building and repeat funeral home clients would risk it all by being dishonest. Actually, a reputable firm will have standards and practices in effect to ensure that no false claims can be made against them.
4. Performing sea burials are not difficult, and can be performed by anyone with a boat and knowledge of the sea. A reputable firm has access to a fleet of vessels and usually owns several themselves. As anyone with a love of boating knows, owners of boats spend much time on them. Quite simply, it is easier to perform the burial at sea than not to do it and attempt to weave the web of deception necessary to falsify the event. We are on boats every day and we have performed scatterings often daily during the past decade. Our credentials are impeccable. We have never received a complaint. It is understandable, however, that many families, in final preparations, want assurances that the service is properly performed. To some, this assurance comes only through their own personal witnessing of the event. For those, a charter service is easily provided. When an individual wishes to witness the burial alone or with a small group, the service can be performed conveniently and quite affordably. Rather than live with doubts or questions of the validity of a service performed, the extra cost involved in witnessing the service personally is a small price to pay. We will work with you to make this possible if it is important to you.Please call us if you have any other specific questions. We be glad to discuss this with you further.