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WWII vet receives a Norse-style burial

A handmade wooden boat containing Haines' ashes burns during a burial at sea Sept. 29.<br>Cynthia Oldham / Coast Guard
A handmade wooden boat containing Haines' ashes burns during a burial at sea Sept. 29.

The boat was only 54 inches, a handcrafted wooden Norse-style vessel. It held the remains of World War II veteran Andrew Haines when it was cast off from a Coast Guard ship in September.

Haines, who died at 89 of natural causes in late August, wanted a burial at sea, according to the Navy Times. On Sept. 29, the Station Atlantic City Coast Guard conducted the burial about three miles off the coast of New Jersey.

The vessel carrying Haines’ cremated remains was lowered into a recess on the Coast Guard ship, where the shavings inside the boat were lighted with a flare and pushed out to sea.

Haines was born in Skudene-shavn, a small town in western Norway, and emigrated to the United States in 1927. He settled in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and joined the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II.

Haines had spent years planning his funeral, starting about 10 years ago when his cousin sent him blueprints for a 100-foot ship from Norway. A scaled-down 54-inch version was used in the ceremony.

“Oh, I was thrilled,” Haines’ son Andy told Navy Times. “I was thrilled when the Coast Guard called and told me we were doing it my way.”

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