Barnacles, Coast Guard divers team up for cleanup
Don Gallop of the Baddeck Barnacles Scuba Diving Society says underwater visibility was “good” on Sept. 15 for divers taking part in the Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup.
Divers from Baddeck, Sydney and the Canadian Coast Guard College retrieved hundreds of pounds of garbage from west of the Village Wharf as far as the Baddeck Marine. Various plastics items, cans, bottles, a new bicycle and a wallet with a small amount of money and no personal identification. One item eluded them.
“It's painted blue and yellow,” said Gallop of the lost anchor owned by the Bras d’or Yacht Club. “We saw it once, but had nothing to salvage it. We went back out looking for it and we didn’t find it. But we will, don't worry. It's there. It's in front of the yacht club. It's hit and miss sometimes when you're looking for things, unless you know exactly where they are.”
Gallop says divers can typically see twice their body length in front and behind them. On Cleanup day, divers dove a depth of 25 feet.
In all, 27 registered for the event – six divers from the Baddeck Barnacles (Eric Lawaitis, Scott Williamson, Dan Mccoart, Don Gallop, Stacey Petipas, Dan Chiasson), six divers from the Canadian Coast Guard College (Charlotte Ares, Mackenzie Collings, Courtney Goddard, Xavier Stochmal, Andre Roy, Patrice Vaillaincourt) and Jessica Langille of Sydney.
Baddeck support staff included Peter Patterson, Carlie Kerr and Linda Mccoart. Non-divers from the Coast Guard College providing shore assistance were Mariana Duque and Vincent Howell.
Support staff helped divers get into their equipment and kept a lookout from the shore to make sure no boats trespass. Divers used flags to mark the dive area which was also patrolled to prevent boaters passing through. Support staff received the garbage from the divers and loaded the truck for transport to the Enviro-depot.
The entire dive took place under the watchful eye of dive instructor Brad Rahey (Professional Association of Dive Instructors - PADI) owner of the Dive Corner dive shop in Sydney.
Divers fueled up on coffee and donuts donated by Tim Horton’s before and were rewarded with a BBQ lunch.
The Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup is held each year on the third Saturday of September. 2018 cleanup statistics are not yet available. In 2017, 800,000 volunteers, including 5707 divers, collectively removed more than 20 million pieces of trash from beaches and waterways around the world weighing 77,137 kg.
To learn more about Ocean Conservancy efforts, visit oceanconservancy.org. Follow Baddeck Barnacles on Facebook.
Front Row (L-R): Dwaine Black, Rachelle Black, Elsie Latwaitis, Courtney Goddard. 2rd Row (L-R): Brad Rahey, Mylene Black, Francine Roberts, Ernest Roberts. 3rd Row (L-R): Jessica Langille, Stacey Pettipas, Mariana Duque, Charlotte Ares, Daniel Chiasson. Back Row (L-R): Don Gallop, Scott Williamson, Daniel Mccoart, Linda Mccoart, Andrew Logue, Patrice Vaillancort, Eric Latwaitis, André Roy. Submitted photo.