Edmund Hillary's cremains scattered at sea

Feb. 29, 2008 at 11:45 AM

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Feb. 29 (UPI) -- The ashes of Sir Edmund Hillary were scattered at sea in the Hauraki Gulf in Auckland, New Zealand, according to the adventurer's wishes, his family said.

Hillary's cremains were scattered from the youth development ship, The Spirit of New Zealand, by family members, the Wellington Dominion Post reported Friday.

Hillary and Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest in Nepal in 1953 -- acclaimed as a triumph for Britain. He died in January at age 88.

In his 1999 memoir, "View from the Summit," Hillary spoke of his preferred disposition of his ashes.

"I should even like my ashes to be spread on the beautiful waters of Auckland's Hauraki Gulf, to be washed gently ashore maybe on the many pleasant beaches near the place where I was born. Then the full circle of my life will be complete," he wrote.

A new steel gangplank, dubbed "Hillary step" was designed for the occasion so Hillary's ashes could be scattered from the ship close to the waterline.

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