Burial at Sea

What is the term when a sailor is buried at sea? Does the U.S. Navy still practice this?

It’s called "Burial at Sea. This is how the US Navy does it.

From what I can tell, unless you’re John F. Kennedy, Jr., or a member of some sort of the US military, you’re not going to be able to get whole-body interred in US waters.

You can, with some services, have your cremated remains (cremains) scattered at sea, in some cases, your body can be interred as a seeding structure for coral reefs.

I’m not sure what the protocol for civilian whole-body burial at sea is for international waters…

The basic idea is that the body must be weighted sufficiently, and interred sufficiently far out, so that it won’t wash up somewhere, get tangled in fishing nets and the like.

The basic reasons for restricting whole-body water interment are:

public health/hygiene;

the popularity of the method for disposing of crime victims.

I thought that JFK Jr. was cremated before they scattered his ashes.

Wording my second question better. Does the Navy still practice this if someone dies aboard a ship during peacetime? wartime? Do sailors families have any say?

About JFKJr, you may be right … they may have cremated the victims before interment. It would make sense, given the proximity of the crash site to the shore.

As for the peacetime death situation: Yes, and yes…