Nfld. & Labrador

Divers tackle underwater trash in Port Aux Basques harbour

Volunteers dove right in to the chilly water to clean up the community's submerged junk on Friday.

6 divers took shifts hunting and hauling up garbage as part of World Oceans Day cleanup

A container holds some of trash recovered from the harbour in Port aux Basques, N.L. during a dive on World Oceans Day. (Harbour Authority of Port Aux Basques/Facebook)

A group of volunteers in Port aux Basques dove deep into their local harbour's garbage problem Friday — literally.

Six scuba divers, along with a host of land-based volunteers, spent World Oceans Day tidying up an area around the community's floating docks that's become home to a heap of trash.

A diver from the Sea Lion Dive Club helps with trash recovery efforts in the Port aux Basques harbour. The team hopes to do other similar dives in the future, says organizer Scott Savory. (Harbour Authority of Port Aux Basques/Facebook)

"As a diver, anyone that enjoys the outdoors hates coming along and finding trash, And it's no different underneath the water," said organizer Scott Savory, who also dove with some of the other members of the Sea Lion Dive Club.

While the area in question may have been on the ocean floor, Savory said it was also an eyesore above the water, with mounds of junk clearly visible from the nearby boardwalk.

Members of the Sea Lion Dive Club went under to retrieve trash from the Port aux Basques harbour. (Harbour Authority of Port Aux Basques/Facebook)

"You can see everything from beer bottles to beer cans, plastic bags, rubber gloves, shopping carts," he said, adding it was seeing that garbage during a winter walk along the water that sparked Friday's cleanup.

Diving for debris

The divers each completed three dives, using garbage bags wrapped around milk crates to collect the trash and bring it up to the surface where volunteers in boats waited.

Savory hoped Friday's effort may inspire local litterbugs to think twice before using the shoreline.

"If people can actually see how it's affecting the sea life, and the garbage that's underneath the water — if we can let people know, maybe next time before they decide to toss that beer can or trash overboard they might think twice and not do it."

Savory said his team hopes to do similar dives in the future, looking to take out the trash in other troubled spots of the Port aux Basques harbour.

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