Sairee Cottage Diving kicked off a month of action against marine debris yesterday with a trip out to Sam Ran Pinnacle to clean off some old ghost nets.
Never an easy task removing discarded fishing nets, the team met at 10am for a safety briefing with a lot of emphasis on entanglement issues, marine impact and how exerting energy underwater increases you breathing rate.
Once the briefing was complete the team packed up the gear and set sail on the 2hr journey out to the dive site. During the trip the team analyzed their NITROX tanks (safety first) and then began measuring and preparing ropes to be used on the lift bags, the instructors also provided a refresher session on knot tying for those whose skills had become a little rusty.
Once at the dive site a final briefing on how the dive was going to be performed was given and then it was time for the real action as 17 divers descended down to the pinnacle. Dive 1 was focused on the deeper sections of net and bringing them to the top of the pinnacle. The team worked in buddy groups at 2 meter intervals with one buddy cutting and the other providing assistance, while Sarah and Chris performed the role of support divers. After the first dive of 45 minute we knew the day was going to be a success with over 40KG of net brought up.
During the surface interval a briefing for the second dive was given with a new emphasis on removing the overhanging nets from the crags and ravines and leaving the net that is more incorporated into the site as it seemed to be degrading nicely and was not causing as much damage.
Dive 2 was performed on the top of the pinnacle gathering what net was left on top from dive 1 and collecting new net. Dive 2 was a fantastic success with another 60+kg of net removed.
All up it was a fantastic day with over 100kgs of net removed and Sairee Cottage Diving would like to thank all the people involved the Divers, Boat Captain, Tank boys for their extra time on the day.
We would like to point out that the ghost net at Sam Ran is massive and there is still a lot of net remaining so we would encourage any other dive schools heading that way to get involved and if you need any information about the site and net to contact Chris at Sairee Cottage Diving.
We will have a video documenting this trip coming out in the next few days so stay tuned