Naval Terminology


New member
21 Mar 2005
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Could anyone assist with the correct naval terminology describing a ships whistle/foghorn salute when passing or alongside a funeral/burial at sea. Thankyou


Well-known member
6 May 2005
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You need a bugler, and firing party as well.

As a cadet, we did practice tossing oars in the whaler as a mark of respect, but on the day, there was too much wind.

Athene V30

Active member
20 Sep 2001
Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria in Winter, the boat
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I can't think of a time when the ship's siren would be used in this way.

Warships passing salute each other - the junior CO's ship would pipe the 'still' on the bosun's call as the bridges come into line and the duty officer salue, the senior CO's ship would pipe the 'still', return the salute and pipe the 'carry on'. Junior then pipes carry on.

Never had the misfortune to attend a burial at sea so unaware of the protocol. Think I was onboard for a committal of ashes once and all that happened was the flags were half masted for the duration and all personeel not involved cleared off weather decks.

Bosun's call may be replaced by a bugle soundign the 'alert' and the 'carry on'.

Warships would receive a signal detailing when colours should be flown at half mast for funerals in vicinity. When half masting the colour are hoisted to the top (close up) before being lowered to half mast position and when striking colours they would be hoised close up first before lowereing.

Hope this is of use