USCG Certified CRD# 889
Honoring the
Fallen Heroes


“We have never done this before and know very little about burials-at-sea, but my father died last week and requested that his ashes be scattered at sea. Can you help us and take us through the process?”

Sound familiar? Well…let us begin by doing everything we can to help you and answer all of your questions.

As little that has taken place, often we are greeted by, “Wow! Thank you for taking my call. Everyone I’ve tried to talk to has been Ice-Cold and doesn’t help me at all.” It’s sad in this industry but I think it is suffice to say, that very few people really care. On top of that, knowing full well that you are in a vulnerable state, they take advantage of you.

By calling us you’ve already noticed the difference in that we do care, and will help you in every way possible.

So, let me guide you through the process by beginning with some ‘Heads Up’ information and things to be on the watch for. This should be for every company you check out as you do due diligence in ‘shopping around’ for what is best for you:

Take a step back and focus on the fact that this is the boating industry. The ocean can be a very dangerous place and because of that many regulations are put into effect by the United States Coast Guard and Marina operations personnel for your Safety. The ocean is closely patrolled by USCG, Police Department, Life Guards, and Patrol Boats.

When hiring a Charter Boat Company please be very careful. Without realizing it, you can inadvertently put you, your family, and your friends in great danger. Here is what you need to know particularly in the waters of LA Harbor/Long Beach:

  1. The Web Site. Is there one? How does it look to you? Professional?
    • The USCG regularly checks web sites for illegal operations. There are numerous illegal charter businesses out there, believe me. If there is no web site, guess what? They are hiding, operating an illegal business, hoping not to get caught. What is at stake for you? How about your life! It is so dangerous and so illegal, but very cheap for them and thus, very profitable. Is risking your life worth trying to save a few bucks? I hope not.
    • A poor web site may be an indication that they are not a very good business, don’t maintain their vessel, again, affecting your safety. I have been called by parties that showed up at a decrepit vessel and refused to board. It does happen!

  2. Vessel location. This is the easiest way to tell whether the company you are talking to is operating legally or not. Very simple. Just ask where the boat is docked. Here is the give-away:  In Long Beach, a legal charter has to be located in Rainbow Harbor! When they tell you that they are launching their boat or that vessel is located elsewhere then they are not operating a legal business. That should end your search of that company.

  3. Place of passenger pick-up. In Long Beach, all passengers for-hire must board the charter vessel in Rainbow Harbor. The exceptions would be Yacht Clubs and private docks with the proper authorization. Ballast Point, Marina Pacifica, Bay Harbor, Spinnaker Bay, Spinnaker Cove, or any of the public docks are strictly forbidden.

  4. Licensing requirements. If you get this far in your search for a legal charter, this is a little more complicated.

    • CRD. Ask what their CRD license number is. In California, for anyone to scatter ashes-in-the-sea, they must be licensed as a CRD (Cremated Remains Disposer). No one else is allowed to scatter ashes.

    • Captain’s License. Whenever there are passengers-for- hire (paying passengers) on a vessel, the vessel has to be piloted by a Licensed Captain. Ask several questions:
      • What is their license number and is it current?
      • How many passengers are they licensed to carry? Some are only allowed to have 6 passengers on the boat.
      • Are they enrolled in an Alcohol/Drug Consortium? All Captains have to be enrolled in such a program for random testing for alcohol/drugs. Verification of this requirement can be obtained by you through the USCG Inspection division.

    • USCG Certification. A vessel carrying more than 6 passengers must be certified by the USCG to do so. She is considered an Inspected Vessel. If there are more than 6 passengers, simply ask if they are a USCG inspected vessel and is their certification current.

    • Actual price. This is the most obvious area where we are different from every other company. Ask if there are other charges. You will find out very quickly that these companies will nickel-and-dime you to death. They charge more for a weekend or holiday; charge you for  food, drinks, photography, flowers; and often invent other charges such as dock fees, taxes, harbor fees, etc.

      We simply do not want you to incur any other expenses than necessary. So, we would never charge you more for a weekend or holiday or anything. That’s right! With us food, drinks, photography, and flowers are provided free of charge. And, believe me, there are no other charges.

Review our web site and all of the options.

  • Call us the moment you feel the need to.
  • Consider:
  • Where you want the burial to be performed:  Catalina, Long Beach, Newport, San Pedro. We are located in Long Beach so this would be your least expensive option.
  • Who would you like to invite: We are limited to 12 passengers at any one time .There are no limits should you chose the View-from-the-Pier option. It is also the least expensive. I encourage everyone to save when they can!
  • When you would like the service to be performed: We go out any time of the day, any day of the week, including holidays. We believe very strongly in doing everything that will be convenient for you and your guests.
  • How you would like the service to be performed: Envision the ceremony. How would you personally plan what would make you the happiest. It is your day!
  • What you would like to bring such as a video, pictures, music, special foods or drinks: We have 2 flat screens and an 8 speaker stereo system. We also have ample space to display pictures.
  • The options also include a live broadcast to you and your party sitting on a beach or in a park for example. Or it can be broadcast live for anyone who cannot attend. This can be of a tremendous savings and pretty exciting! Would you like a bag piper, Military Honors, or religious service? We can do it all!

There are also the options of how the ashes are put into the water, who lowers the basket, who decorates the basket and how it is decorated, colors or types of flowers.

In addition some families arrange for a Ringing of the ship’s bell, special foods, or want special items to be included in the burial.

Special flowers, butterflies, memorial wreath are other considerations.

We will discuss with you all of the particulars in the planning stage. Our only goal is to please you and make the ceremony an amazing and wonderful experience: One you will never forget!

Our services are for both the general public and the Military. Feel free to call us at any time!

For the State of California, the Secretary of State and Attorney General, Department of Justice, and Department of Consumer Affairs have awarded a non-profit, public benefit, charitable trust designation to The Last Watch Foundation to provide funeral services to help the Military and their families. We are the only organization in the United States to be awarded this honor. The State has also given us license to perform the scattering of ashes at sea. If a donation to The Last Watch is ever received, those funds are deposited directly into The Last Watch Foundation.

The Vessel
The yacht ‘Orion’ is our private boat taken care of and maintained by our family. Our basic philosophy is that each week, she may be a week older, but she’s also a week nicer. We take great pride in her and want her not only to be a great boat for us, but also a wonderful and beautiful boat for you and your party basically as a ‘back drop’ for the burial service. Well taken care of, she also will provide for you the ‘comfort’ that a ceremony would not have to be cancelled because she was not running.
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