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Faith and Burial for Seafarers

June 2022 Free

Over the last few years and particularly since the start of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic there has been an increase in cases of shipping companies finding it difficult to repatriate the bodies or ashes of deceased seafarers quickly enough, in accordance with the wishes of their next of kin.

Any actions taken in the event of a death should respect the religious beliefs and customs of seafarers and their families.

This Guide aims to:

  • Provide advice to companies on the issues concerned, and on the requirements and customs of various faiths, to be factored into any decisions taken;
  • Recommend practical steps which can be taken in the unfortunate instance of a death on board a ship; and
  • Help anyone involved in decisions affecting the repatriation of a deceased seafarer including ships’ Masters, agents, funeral directors in ports, welfare agencies, government officials, shipowners, unions and seafarers’ families.