Thunder Bay·Audio

Thunder Bay dive tag fundraiser to raise money for buoy project

A group of divers hope a collectable tag will help raise money, along with awareness about shipwrecks in Thunder Bay and Lake Superior.

Pick up dive tags in return for donations to shipwrecks mooring project

The small, red, metal dive tags can be obtained by making a donation to the buoy program being undertaken by Thunder Bay-area divers. (Jeff Walters/CBC)
It could be called "tag days" for Superior Underwater Exploration Society's Shipwrecks Mooring project. David Shepherd explains dive tokens

A group of divers hope a collectable tag will help raise some money, along with awareness about shipwrecks in Thunder Bay and Lake Superior.

The local chapter of Save Ontario Shipwrecks has just received its first shipment of dive tags — small, red, metal plates that look like dog tags.

The tags are used to promote the preservation of shipwrecks, and many divers collect and trade the tags, said SOS local chapter president David Shepherd.
David Shepherd, president of Thunder Bay's Save Ontario Shipwrecks, is hoping donations through a new dive tag initiative will help fund the group's buoy project. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

"For divers, it's kinda like trading baseball cards," he said.

"So, if I go down to Mexico, or let's say Brant County — they have a similar tag to us — you can actually trade your card with the divers there."

Shepherd said the sale of the dive tags will help fund buoy projects. The group wants to mark up to 20 wrecks in the Thunder Bay area to make it easier to find the spots.

The buoys also provide a safe point for boaters looking to moor. Boats can tie off to the buoy, instead of dropping anchor — avoiding dropping it onto, and disturbing, the wreck.

"The first five [buoys] are going to be in Thunder Bay proper," he said.

"We're going to be out by the Welcome Islands. We're going to be doing several, [including] the Pukaswa, the Green River, the MaryAnn, the Grey Oaks and another one to be determined."

The group will venture past the Sleeping Giant the following year.

Shepherd said people need to make a donation to the project to get a tag, adding that a donation of around $10 would be ideal.

The tags are available at the Dive Shop in Thunder Bay.

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