Photo Courtesy of Requiem Maritime Memorials
Requiem’s vessel, a 27′ Tollycraft motor yacht, prepares to set sail.
By Caitlin Masessa
When it comes to where you want to spend eternity, the high seas may not be on your list. However, due to the soaring cost of funerals and dwindling cemetery space, the spreading of cremated remains in the sea has become a common tribute for families to put their loved ones to rest. Although this path may be new to most of the public, Captain Denny Flacker has always been aware of the desire for the sea to be a final resting place. “I always wanted to be cremated and spread in the sea,” the ex-Naval officer stated, “A lot of people do, but I saw that there wasn’t a boat in the area that provides such a wish.” Seeing the need for a vessel to take to the seas and fulfill the dying wishes of loved ones lost, Captain Flacker founded Requiem Maritime Memorials, a service that takes a loved one’s remains to sea and gives the family closure as they say one last goodbye.
Sailing out Little Harbor Marina in Ruskin, abroad the 27’ Tollycraft Motor Yacht, which has the capacity to carry the crew and up to six passengers, Requiem Maritime Memorials will perform the spreading of ashes as well as any memorial service the family may want. Since its’ founding, Requiem’s goal has been to provide for any personal and religious beliefs to the extent possible. “We look at it as a Celebration of Life,” Captain Flacker explained of the memorials aboard the boat, “We’ll play music, and I’ll do a reading or say a prayer if that’s what the family wants.” The trip, which takes an hour and thirty minutes to get to the designated three miles from land, comes in the form of two packages, one of which that does not require for families to be present.
The Captain’s Service, which is the most frequently requested option, has Captain Flacker undertake the voyage alone. Requiem promises to fulfill requests the family may have for specific prayers, readings, or other ceremonies that are wanted from the deceased.
While both packages start at $250, the Captain’s Service provides a ten-percent discount to Veterans while the Family Memorial Services adds $150 per person attending. “Usually about thirty-percent of families want to attend,” Flacker deduced, “It all depends on what they’re comfortable with.”
Comfort isn’t the only reason for choosing the sea over a cemetery. “Cremation is much more affordable than a burial,” Flacker explained, “[Being spread at sea] is also environmentally-friendly.” To keep up with the needs of the environment, Requiem requires that all items put into the ocean, such as urns, notes, and flowers, be biodegradable. Flacker also sees the service as more convenient for families that live in different areas of the nation. “It’s hard to get everyone together when tragedy hits,” Flacker said.
Despite Requiem making the time of loss as smooth as possible, Captain Flacker is aware of the taboo attitude that is attached with the planning, and preparing, of memorial services. “It’s hard but you have to sit down and have that talk,” Flacker stated when confronted about how to prepare for the last goodbye, “You have to be able to see into the next Generation.”
Although the conversation is hard to hear, and participate in, Requiem Memorial Services will be there to help you, and your loved ones, achieve closure so that you may keep on living.
To learn more about Requiem Maritime Memorials, and the pricing of their packages, visit their website at http://www.requiem.life/. You may also contact Captain Denny Flacker directly at 598-1586.