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Project Aware Dive Against Debris Poole Harbour

Environment KCraddock COMMENTS 17 Sep, 2019

As part of the PADI Project Aware week on Sunday the 15th September 2019 Poole Diving had to do some planning.

Sponsorship in the form of support from Project Aware was received through our in house PADI Course Director and Project Aware Instructor Trainer, Ian Craddock, and came following a staff vote in the Poole TKMaxx/Homesense store to conduct Dive Against Debris® surveys in this local area.

The funding is being provided by TK Maxx and Homesense from the sale of their single-use carrier bags to provide the tools and resources needed to conduct the surveys. We were selected because some of previously submitted Dive Against Debris data around the area and to assist us to continue to support environmental actions.

We combined forces with Go Paddle and Reconnect and for our bit we completed an underwater clean up in a contained area of Fisherman’s Dock, part of the Marina in front of the RNLI Museum at the end of Poole Quay.

Go paddle gave us some surface support for divers in the water and arranged for disposal of the rubbish and reconnect organised a clean up of the surrounding shoreline and along  Poole Quay.

A massive thanks to Poole Harbour Commissioners for their help and the Harbour Master for approving our Risk Assessments and diving plan, and helping us with this project.

Divers arrived at the Dive Centre fairly early to load the van and we were at the site parked up ready to go by 08:30.  A quick call to the Harbourmaster and we closed the immediate area to all boat traffic from 9am.  No mean feat on a beautiful Sunday Morning in a busy working Marina!

Divers worked in teams of three, each with canoe cover and standby divers shore side, with assistants on pontoons throughout.  We halted operations a couple of times briefly to allow some boat movement, (can’t cause total chaos after all).

Ironically the first major item recovered was the largest of the day, a Poole Council Rubbish bin that had been thrown into the area off the pontoon bridge.

Divers were working in conditions of virtually zero visibility once they started recovering objects as the bottom composition in the area is basically rotting silt and vegetation.  All wore additional protection on their hands as we really did not know what we would find. 

You can see from the images we had a good haul which consisted of Waste Bins, Pots, Car Tyre etc as well as loads of small stuff and crab lines.

The rubbish was moved to a designated area following the days diving, for disposal in an appropriate manner, as arranged by the Council.

We consider that the day and the rubbish removed was a great success.  As you can imagine we generated considerable interest working on a Sunday Morning in a busy area for both Boat traffic, and Holidaymakers strolling along the Quay. 

Fortuitously there is a couple of rows of benches by Sea Fishing Poole, and many people sat in the sun watching the operations unfold.  Considerable discussions were held with bystanders by all three organisations involved in the day so hopefully the word will spread.

We are hoping that now we have successfully completed this contained area we will get further permissions to extend out clean ups to other areas of the Marina in the future and we look forward to working with all involved again.

Fancy becoming a Project Aware Instructor or Diver?  Give us a call.

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