Diving in to help cut litter
Divers from Leighton Buzzard have trawled up a truckload of trash on a litterpick with a difference off Plymouth.
Members of the Chiltern branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club, which meets at Tiddenfoot Leisure Centre, netted drowned debris including plastic bags, milk bottles, a load of old rope and a gent’s left shoe from the seabed.
It was part of a huge pile of rubbish collected by the divers from the club who were taking part in the British Sub-Aqua Club’s (BSAC) Underwater Litter Pick 2012 which runs until the end of October.
Eamon Coffrey, Chiltern Sub Aqua Club’s training officer, was one of 10 divers who took part in the club’s first ever underwater litterpick.
He said: “To be honest we tend to pick up obvious rubbish when we are diving anyway but the BSAC campaign made us take a really close look at just how much trash, particularly plastic waste, there is on the seabed.
“We dived at Bovisands at Plymouth and couldn’t believe the sheer volume of rubbish lying on the seabed and close to the shore. It really opened our eyes to what is a huge problem.
“We collected around four 15-litre bags of rubbish very quickly. Plastic is by far the biggest problem whether it’s bags, bottles or containers.
“And of course plastic doesn’t break down naturally and presents a real health hazard to a lot of marine life as well as marine birds which can become tangled up in plastic bags.
“But it wasn’t just plastic we came across. We found a single gents shoe, tin cans, rope and quite a number of discarded deodorant aerosols.”
Eamon added that the club completed two litterpicking dives, the first a shore dive and the second a dive on the wreck of HMS Scylla which lies in around 25 metres of water in Whitesand Bay, Plymouth.
Eamon, who served as a Royal Navy cook for 17 years before leaving the service to take on an IT role for Camelot, added that Chiltern Sub Aqua Club is arranging another underwater litterpick in the coming weeks.
He said: “We haven’t set a date yet but we also want to raise awareness of the issue with fellow divers and make picking up underwater litter a normal activity for any diver.”
Chiltern Sub Aqua Club meets every Thursday evening between 7.30 and 10.30pm at Tiddenfoot and Eamon says potential new club members are welcome to visit.
He said: “We run classroom sessions for the theory side of diving and have a three metre vertical drop pool for try-dives and training. Chiltern is a friendly club with a membership of around 50 divers spanning a wide age range and from all walks of life.
“I’d encourage anyone who wants to try sport diving to pop in or contact anyone from the club for further details. I have been diving for six years and love every minute of my time underwater, whether I’m picking up litter or just enjoying the wildlife.”
For more information on Chiltern Sub Aqua Club visit www.chiltern-divers.org or contact Adie Button on 01582 881643.
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Weather for Leighton Buzzard
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 14 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 14 C to 24 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North