Make Every Dive Count, Even Non Dives
A lush spring day, the sun is shining, the car is packed with dive gear and the mesh bags are ready. Unfortunately, the sea wasn't. Some of our staff at Scuba Leeds headed down to Runswick Bay to reccy a new dive site. We also wanted to complete a Dive Against Debris report.
The weather was beautiful, the sea was calm, and our team were excited to get to the sea and explore. Hopes were high for a pleasant dive but it took one look at the sea and we realised the elements were against us. The sea basically looked like mud. Never fear, we didn't want to give up that easy. So we donned our gear, walked down the hill to the beach in the sunshine (whilst we were cooking in our drysuits), we got in the sea... and it was confirmed, the visibility was down to 1 inch at best.
We decided to swim out till the vis improved, and after a 300m surface swim against the tide we decided we could swim no more. We ducked under the water and after our 30-second scuba dive, we decided the visibility was still no better. The decision was quickly taken to cancel the dive. With another 300m surface swim back, we arrived at the beach a bit downhearted. No dive, no debris collected.
As we packed our kit away we agreed: if we can't collect rubbish from our waters, we can collect the rubbish before it gets in the water! So off we headed to the beach to see what we could get. And we found... Plastic!
It is such a shame to see the leftovers from visitors left behind. This debris leaves behind a mark on this beautiful location. In total we found 39 pieces rubbish including bottled water lids, plastic wrappers, 3 straws, Plastic lids, Plastic fragments, fishing wire, a fishing hook, a sole of a shoe (we always seem to find a sole of a shoe) and another recurring item - dog poo in a bag left on the rocks!
All items were removed and properly disposed of. The data was collected but unsuitable for Project AWARE. However, we logged the information with Ocean Conservancy on the Ocean Swell App. We highly recommend the Clean Swell App. It makes logging clean ups on land so easy and can be done with a few clicks as you collect. This data helps deliver a global snapshot of trash, providing researchers and policy-makers insight to inform solutions. So make sure every dive you do counts by helping remove rubbish and passing along the data. Log those wonderful dives when you find zero debris as all data counts. But if you can't dive, make even the non-dives count.