Montreal diver completes underwater expedition from Île-Perrot to Repentigny
Filmmaker Nathalie Lasselin wants to raise awareness about protecting our source of drinking water
A local filmmaker and underwater explorer completed her expedition from one end of the island of Montreal to the other this weekend to raise awareness about our responsibility to keep the water clean.
Nathalie Lasselin began her adventure at Île-Perrot, west of Montreal, on Friday morning, and arrived in Repentigny Saturday night.
The original plan was to complete the 70-km trek along the southern shore of the island in just over 24 hours — but the crew faced some unforeseen challenges.
"It was kind of a nightmare, let's be honest," said Lasselin in an interview with CBC's Homerun. She is an inductee in the Women Diver Hall of Fame and the founder of Pixnat Productions.
"Everything that could possibly go wrong, went wrong. However the entire team was so exceptional."
Due to unseasonably warm weather over the weekend, more pleasure craft were on the water than they had anticipated. This pushed Lasselin closer to the shore, forcing her to move slower through weedy, shallow water.
She said that at some points she could not see the compass on her underwater scooter, making her move even more slowly to ensure she was heading in the right direction.
Facing hours of delays, and with her scooter batteries running low, the team decided to take a break late Friday and resumed Saturday morning.
Lasselin said she slept about three hours over the course of the expedition.
"The main goal was to raise awareness about the St. Lawrence, not to be a foolish explorer putting myself and others at risk," she said.
She wanted to bring attention to the fact that the St. Lawrence is the source of Montreal's drinking water, and that we all share the responsibility to protect it.
"We have a direct impact on the quality of the water, so that means we have the power to change things," she said, adding that she doesn't want us to only act when the water becomes too contaminated to drink.
"If we don't take care of it, we might have to face that day," she said.