Get a licence for a burial at sea in England

Apply for this licence

Start nowon the Marine Management Organisation service


You can apply for a marine licence to bury someone at sea:

  • off The Needles, Isle of Wight
  • between Hastings and Newhaven
  • off Tynemouth, North Tyneside

You can also propose a new site when you make your application. You’ll need to supply coordinates and evidence to demonstrate that the site is suitable for burials at sea.

You’ll be responsible for ensuring the coffin is built to the correct specifications.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has the right to inspect the body and coffin before a burial at sea.

You don’t need a licence or permission to scatter ashes at sea following a cremation.

Documents you’ll need

When you apply you must include:

  • the death certificate
  • a Certificate of Freedom from Fever and Infection (available from the dead person’s GP or hospital doctor)
  • a notice of intention to remove a body out of England (available from the Coroner in exchange for a Certificate of Disposal provided by the Registrar)

Applications are published on MMO’s public register.

Advance applications

You can make an application for a licence to bury someone at sea before they die to reduce delays. You’ll still need to send the relevant documents to MMO before the burial can take place.


A licence costs £175.

Burial at sea in Scotland

Contact the Burial, Cremation and Death Certification Team to find out about sea burials.

Burial, Cremation and Death Certification Team
Telephone: 0131 244 2711
Find out about call charges

Burial, Cremation and Death Certification Team
3E St Andrews House
Regent Road


Author: MixoBiz

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