Our resident PADI Course Director Richard decided, over the weekend, to dive an old site that hasn't been visited in over 5 years.
PADI IDC Staff Instructor Bob went along for the dive. As they descended onto the site, they were horrified to discover a huge net choking the reef.
Being passionate about the environment as they are at Downbelow, the lads found and immediately freed a trapped stonefish and a large grouper, before returning to Downbelow's PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya island in Kota Kinabalu to bring back help.
As luck would have it, local park protection agency, Sabah Parks, had 4 staff members at our dive centre taking part in a PADI Rescue Diver course. They happily agreed to join the Downbelow net removal quest.
Moments later Richard had rounded up all Downbelow staff and Go Pro Interns within arm's lenght and commandeered them to assist with removing the 100+ metre long net.
Richard briefed the team on safety and net removal techniques before they headed back to the net to free the reef once more.
Inspite of the delicate work required to remove the thorougly entrenced net, the large team of eager AWARE divers made short work of the large net.
We're happy to report that the reef can breathe once more!