Video: Boats Head Out To Say A Final Farewell

November 16, 2014

[Updated with video] A large fleet of boats left Albouys Point this morning [Nov 16] as the island prepares to say their final farewell to Dr. Neil Burnie, who will be buried at sea following a service at Western Blue Cut.

The well known veterinarian died following a marine accident on November 11th, after getting into difficulty while free diving to recover lobster traps lost in the recent hurricanes.

Boats head out to the burial service:

boats heading to Dr Burnie burial

Dr. Burnie’s marine exploits captured the attention of an international film crew, and he was selected to star in the Ocean Vet television series, which was filmed in Bermuda and will debut following his death, with the producer saying “with great honour and pride we will share Neil’s dream with the world.”

The family invited everyone to join in today’s burial service for Dr Burnie, and the community responded, with a large amount of people making their way out to sea, to say their final farewell to the ‘Ocean Vet.’

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The funeral programme quotes Dr Burnie’s song “It’s time to save the sharks,” saying: “The whales and sharks of the ocean, they seem to call to me, though my body is here on dry land, my soul is deep in the sea.”

Video look at the boats heading out:

Update: A full photo gallery is here.

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  1. Moonbeam says:

    What a wonderful view I had this morning (from Belmont Golf Course) of Neil Burnie’s huge flotilla of boats — such a fitting tribute to his legacy. May he RIP in the Ocean he knew and loved.

  2. vanessa says:

    This is very touching. Just goes to show the impact he had on this island.

  3. sad onion says:

    Thanks for sharing as I am there in spirit. . . RIP NEIL, my wonderful adventurous friend & vet that gave us all so much, you are & will be missed.

  4. Very Real says:

    RIP Neil Burnie, thank you for all you did with your time in Bermuda, You will be missed by all and Sheba.

  5. Wharton family says:

    RIP Dr. Burnie, as we say a sad farewell to a life well lived let us remember to honor him in our daily lives by living life to the fullest, sharing your enthusiasm for your passion, and always search for the gifts untold, explore with zeal and celebrate all that life has to offer us here on earth. Lets do our part as he did his so brilliantly. He will be sorely missed. From one feisty cat Max to another!

  6. JC Simpson says:

    RIP Neal. You’ll never be forgotten. A man who loved this island so much.

  7. john musson says:

    An amazing person who touched a wide range of people from all walks of life who had the privilege of calling him “FRIEND”.His life defined all that is good in people. His exitement about life infected us all. He is a man of our time. RIP Neil

  8. Terry says:

    Met the gentleman many years ago.
    What a fitting tribute to a man that loved his family, his friends, his associates and all creatures.

    Rest well in peace Mr. Burnie.

  9. A Great send off for a person, may his family take comfort and peace in the strength of the numbers of people who turned out to pay their respects, and may the quiet moments that you may face alone in the days,weeks,months and years ahead, that you find peace in knowing that his life was well lived and appreciated tremendously by many, that your loving memories will go on forever without end.

  10. Derek A. G. Jones says:

    Thank you Bernews for making this video available for us that could not be there. An amazing and wonderful send off. A man who obviously touched so many lives in such a positive way. May he live on in everyone’s hearts and inspire us all to do more for our fellow mankind and the animals of both land and sea.

  11. Watcher55 says:

    God bless you Neil and our thoughts are with all the people you leave behind

  12. Miss B says:

    Awesome! He will forever be remembered for his vibrant personality, his huge heart and his love for marine life and animals. May he continue to ‘live free’ in the afterlife!

  13. one powerful message that Neil Burnie left with us is,that the Tiger shark isn’t the killer that he has been labeled with.We listen to people’s story’s about how bad or how dangerous something is and we become programed to believe that it’s true,only to find out that it’s not true.Thanks a million for that Neil,now we know the truth.

  14. Maria says:

    We were in his examination room Wednesday morning…could still feel his energy, his zest for life. While I walked out with tears in my eyes, and sorrow for his family and friends, I vowed to heed his advice…”you just have to try it, at least once!” I will try Neil! RIP!

  15. janet grayston says:

    I will miss his expertise as a vet and his zest for living life to the fullest – an example to us all. I’m sure he will be administering to all of the animals who need (or maybe do not need) medical help in heaven, because I’m sure that is what Neil is doing.

    Our island was certainly richer for having you here, but will be at a loss without your presence.

  16. Unbelievable says:

    We should be so lucky to see another like him come our away ever again.

  17. James h says:

    I remember him coming to our house when I was a child and we would play music together, with myself my brother and another fallen comrade Mr Bill Duncan. Such fond memories of that time. We will all miss you Neil.

  18. Three Weeks during the night of the storm Gonzalo, Neil performed a c-section for us in less then 2 hrs. He saved our pups and did what he does best and we are thankful. You will be missed by many…in spirit. RIP

  19. Alex Brooks says:

    Even in death Neil is still giving us the most wonderful experiences. It was a distinct honour to be a part of his ceremony yesterday. The energy on the water was truly incredible. Despite the reason for us all being there it was not a somber affair – it was a celebration of his life. I will never forget that day. I hope we made him and his family proud.