Divers set rubbish world record
22 June 2019 at 12:00 pm
Hundreds of eco-friendly scuba divers have broken a world record for the largest underwater cleanup, retrieving over 700 kgs of rubbish and 30 kgs of fishing line.
Much to the shock of local beach-goers, 663 divers descended on Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier in Florida last week, breaking the record in under two hours.
The official weight of the retrieved rubbish is still being tallied, but diver Tyler Bourgoine told CNN the number was likely to grow, with some estimates pitching the weight to be around 1,500 kgs.
“There were countless lead sinkers… everything from a boat ladder to a barbell,” Bourgoine said.
City officials said they would assist with recycling and disposing of all of the collected ocean waste.
Diver and environmentalist RJ Harper told the Sun-Sentinel that a lot of the waste, like all the retrieved fishing wire, probably came from anglers not thinking through their actions.
“All those times the line gets caught, you just never really think about it,” Harper said.
But he said having such a large group, with some people travelling interstate to partake in the clean, meant they were able to do a very thorough clean, which he hoped would inspire participants to hold cleanup events in their home waters.
This is the fifth annual cleanup hosted by the Dixie Divers and Deerfield Beach Women’s Club.
Dixie Divers owner and cleanup organiser Arlington Pavan told the Sun-Sentinel it was amazing to be able to crack the record in such a short amount of time.
“Oh, it’s amazing to see everybody here, happy, just amazing,” said Pavan.
“The last record took 24 hours and we did it in two hours.”
The Guinness World Records adjudicator, Michael Empric said what really mattered was that the community came together to improve their environment.
The previous world record for the largest underwater cleanup was set in 2015 by Ahmed Gabr, a former Egyptian Army scuba diver, alongside a team of 614 divers in the Red Sea.