Scuba divers of Livein Adventures, an adventure sports firm from Vizag, chose Christmas Day to resume their scuba diving activity post the lockdown.
The divers opted to celebrate the day by embarking on an interesting initiative — an ocean clean-up drive — at Rushikonda beach in Visakhapatnam city.
Balaram Naidu, Director of Livein Adventures, said around 60 members took part in the drive that lasted three hours. “To reflect the festive spirit, all the divers donned Santa Claus costumes and went into the sea for the underwater clean up,” he added.
According to Balaram, the divers went down to a depth of 25 feet. “We started at 10 AM and completed at 1 AM,” he said, adding, onlookers and tourists also took part in the clean-up drive.
For the first time in India, 600 kgs of trash was collected from under the sea in a day. The divers started finding trash just 10 feet into the sea. The trash that was picked up included an abundance of face masks of various types, hand sanitiser bottles, gloves, and other COVID-19-related waste, apart from the usual plastic waste.
“That’s really bizarre,” said Balaram. “The seabed is filled with COVID-19 litter. We also realised that there’s more to come, because the pandemic is far from over.”
If plastic has crept into every article we use in today's life, the COVID-19-related trash is only making matters worse for the marine life,” he lamented.
On the flip side, it was inspiring to see tourists and the public realising the importance of the water bodies being kept clean, and taking part in the drive to clean up nature’s spaces, Balaram said. “Apart from encouraging and training those interested in taking up adventure sports, making Visakhapatnam a zero-plastic zone is also our responsibility,” he stressed.
The clean-up effort was coordinated by 3R ZeroWaste Environment Foundation. P.M. Balaji, President of the Foundation, said they were planning to engage kids in their next drive to spread awareness about the need for healthy aqua life. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep the marine space litter-free,” he said.
|The divers started finding trash just 10 feet into the sea. The trash that was picked up included an abundance of face masks of various types, hand sanitiser bottles, gloves, and other COVID-19-related waste, apart from the usual plastic waste
Director Livein Adventures