ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A fallen Texas Tech University police officer will be buried at sea on Monday morning off the coast of St. Augustine.
The St. Augustine Police Department will have a boat procession for Officer Floyd East Jr. that will leave from around the Castillo de San Marcos at 10 a.m.
East, 48, was shot and killed by a student last October.
He had been working on campus for about five months and was conducting a welfare check that turned into a drug arrest when a 19-year-old suspect pulled a gun and shot him.
On Thursday, motor units with the St. Augustine Police Department, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office escorted East’s family from the airport to St. Augustine.
East isn’t from Northeast Florida, but his family said he loved the sea and was a certified SCUBA diver. They said he would spend any time he could on the water.
Months before he died, East talked about being buried at sea, so his family will make that a reality with Eternal Reefs.
VIEW GALLERY: Officer East Jr. honored with Eternal Reef
What is an Eternal Reef?
His ashes will forever live 8 miles off the coast of St. Augustine in a 3,800-pound reef ball. It’ll have a plaque with his name on it and over time, it will become a home to marine life.
A cast concrete is used to create a new habitat for marine life
Cremated remains are combined into environmentally-safe cement mixture to create an Eternal Reef
The reef balls are only placed at sites designated for development as recreational reefs for fishing and diving—all permitted through local, state, and federal agencies
The company says the reefs help preserve, protect, and enhance the oceans’ health.
There are currently more than 2000 reef balls off the coasts of Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia.
The memorial reefs range from 800 pounds up to 4,000 pounds
His family shared this statement explaining how the historic city has qualities he treasured:
“It has pristine beaches, is a historical site with pirates, conquistadores, claims to having the Fountain of Youth, Ghosts, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. All things Floyd loved. He was always learning and sharing fun facts.”
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