​Burial at Sea

All burials at sea for the South West region are arranged through the Patient Administration Department, Decedent Affairs Division. The Decedent Affairs Division is the first point of contact for requests for burial at sea for Naval ships, Submarines and aircraft. Once cremains and all required documents are received, a tasking message will be sent to request a ship, sub or aircraft for the burial. Depending on the time of the year, this process may take 10 to 12 weeks.

Families may call the Decedent Affairs office to inquire or check on the status of their request. Families and mortuaries may mail urns and documents via registered mail. Walk-ins are welcome, Mon- Fri, 0730-1530. No cremains will be accepted after working hours or on weekends.

The Burial at Sea office is located in Decedent Affairs, Patient Administration, Bldg1, first floor, located to the left of the Main Pharmacy.

The Following Items Are Needed For The Navy To Perform A Burial At Sea:​

  • Urn containing the cremains (non-active duty are usually sent by registered mail to the address shown in item 8, remains of active duty members are hand carried). Hours for walk-ins are 0730-1500 Mon-Fri. Closed on Holidays.
  • Signed letter of authorization from the primary next of kin; requires two witnesses. Contact 619-532-8305 or 532-8306 for an example letter.
  • Burial flag (upon completion of burial at sea the flag will be returned to the primary next of kin). Burial flag can be obtained from a local Veterans Administration Office.
  • Certified Original Death Certificate, Original Transit Permit or Notarized Affidavit of True Copy.
  • Photocopy of DD Form 214, or Honorable discharge certificate, (for family members, copy of the military ID card).
  • California Disposition Permit, or a $16.00 check or money order made out to the County of San Diego, so a California permit can be obtained. For affidavits requested after one year of the date of death, an additional check is required. The check should be made out to the Office of the State Registrar for the amount of $20.00. The $20.00 dollar check will be waived if the death occurred out of the state of California.
  • You may submit a blank VHS tape (for VCR), and disposable camera for pictures.

The Following Categories of People Are Eligible For The Navy Burial At Sea Program:​

  1. Active duty members of the United States uniform services and their family members.
  2. Retired members of the U.S. uniform services and spouses if not divorced.
  3. Former members of the U.S. uniform services discharged under honorable conditions and spouses if not divorced.
  4. U.S. civilian marine personnel of the Military Sealift Command.
  5. Other U.S. citizens who are determined eligible for at sea committal due to notable service or outstanding contributions to the United States. These cases must be approved by the office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

If you have additional questions, or if we can be of further assistance, please contact:

Naval Medical Center
Decedent Affairs Office (Code BUB)
34800 Bob Wilson Drive
San Diego, CA 92134-5000
Phone (619) 532-8066
DSN 522-8066
TOLL FREE 1-800-290-7410​​

​About this Service


  • (619) 532-8066
  • DSN 522-8066
  • Toll Free 1-800-290-7410
  • (619) 532-8366
  • Hours:

    • Monday - Friday:
      • 0730-1500

    Available At