On Saturday June 2nd Dive Academy, a PADI Scuba Diving school in Lahinch, Co Clare, Ireland (www.diveacademy.info) hosted an event in conjunction with Clean Coasts Ireland and Dive Against Debris for a beach clean and debris collecting dives. Our original plan had been to dive at our favourite shore dive location (locally known as 101, 1km north of White Strand in Co Clare) and run a clean up of the shore at the same time. However the great weather in Co Clare for the bank holiday weekend led us to expand the debris dives to include two boat dives (morning and afternoon) and our usual shore dive at 101. We had two full boats (7 divers each) depart from Quilty Pier at 9am and 12.30am all armed with mesh bags, and a small team (including two new divers on a PADI DSD course) take on the 101 shore dive at 2pm. At the same time other staff members and non diving friends and family of the divers took the to beach at our 101 dive site to collect rubbish washed up & discarded there.
We are happy to report that very little debris was found on the dives, limited to small amounts of rope & netting - it is fairly typical of our dive sites that there is not much debris, but that is partly because the high tides wash much debris ashore. This meant that our shore based crew were by far the busiest in the area of rubbish collection and filled many sacks, and some large items, in just over an hour of collecting.
Overall a great event and it helped remind us all we have a duty of care to the ocean to ensure we never add to the debris and do what we can to reduce it. Dive Academy has undertaken to include information about Dive Against Debris in all our dive trip briefings and log all our dives and any debris found (or not found) using the Project Aware app throughout this summer.