Scuba divers set new world record for cleaning debris from the ocean floor

633 divers with aqualungs retrieved over 1600lbs (700kg) of lead fishing weights from water beneath a fishing pier in Florida. The mountain of other assorted trash collected is yet to be weighed.

Scuba divers set world record for largest underwater cleanup

Equipped with aqualungs, a total of 633 scuba divers have set a new world record for the largest mass subaquatic clean-up of a section of the seabed near the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier in Florida.

On June 15th, 2019, divers broke the Guinness world record for the largest underwater cleanup! Watch the dive community come together to remove marine debris from the ocean. The event was organised by Dixie Divers. Special thanks to PADI, Project Aware, Surfrider Foundation, and many others for making this event possible. Video by: Justin Dalaba, Be the Sealution Source: YouTube/BeTheSealution

The previous record for the most divers taking part in an underwater cleanup was 614

A team of hundreds of divers beat the Guinness World Record for the largest underwater cleanup worldwide off a South Florida beach over the weekend. The record was overseen by Guinness officiator Michael Empric, who flew in from New York to do the official head count between 9am and 11am on June 15.

“I actually stood there and clicked off everyone as they got in the water … so we know immediately whether or not the record’s been broken,” he told a reporter from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, who described him as “sporting the dark blue Guinness blazer and teal tie in 87°F heat (35°C)”.

The divers entered the water in groups and had to stay submerged for at least 15 minutes to count towards the record.

The amount of rubbish collected has not yet been measured, but according to the paper the divers retrieved 1,600 pounds (725kg) of lead fishing weights alone, the result of years of anglers cutting their lines free.

The previous record for the most divers taking part in an underwater cleanup was 614, in a dive organised by Ahmed Gabr, a former Egyptian Army scuba diver, who held the event in the Red Sea in Egypt in 2015.

Source: Independent.co.uk

“I actually stood there and clicked off everyone as they got in the water... so we know immediately whether or not the record’s been broken,”
Guinness officiator Michael Empric counting the participants “I actually stood there and clicked off everyone as they got in the water… so we know immediately whether or not the record’s been broken,” Source: ©SnapPhotography&Cinema

Around 80 snorkelers and 150 beach volunteers also joined in

Arilton Pavan, owner of diving store Dixie Divers in Deerfield Beach, Florida, has been organising an annual cleanup for the past 15 years to retrieve the lead weights used by fishermen off the city’s pier, he told ABC News. 

This year, Pavan decided to raise the stakes by aiming for a Guinness World Record to entice divers far and wide to attend the event. The rules dictated that each person had to be a certified diver in full scuba gear and had to spend more than 15 minutes underwater looking for trash, Pavan said. Participants also had to sign a liability release before entering the water, he added.

Pavan said the event brought diving enthusiasts from all over the country to his small town, where he has owned and operated his shop for more than 22 years. Not only did the quest bring a sense of community and comradery to the group, but it also boosted the local economy by filling up hotel rooms and restaurants, Pavan said.

Around 80 snorkelers and 150 beach volunteers also participated, all united with a single goal of helping the environment, he said."I think everybody was happy," said Pavan. "There was a sense of friendship, helping each other."

While the volunteers didn’t find much plastic garbage during the cleanup, Pavan said the number one item he sees littering the coral reefs when he takes people out on dives are plastic shopping bags.

Source: ABC-News

Check out the event in a spectacular professional photo gallery by Snap Photography & Cinema.

Around 80 snorkelers and 150 beach volunteers also participated, all united with a single goal of helping the environment.
The event attracted diving enthusiasts from all over the country Around 80 snorkelers and 150 beach volunteers also participated, all united with a single goal of helping the environment. Source: ©SnapPhotography&Cinema

What happens to all that trash? Ask Dive Against Debris!

The majority of the debris removed by participating dive volunteers, as part of the Save Deerfield Beach Event, was recorded and reported to Project AWARE’s flagship citizen science program – Dive Against Debris®. 

The program aims to empower scuba divers to remove marine debris from the seafloor and report data on the types, quantities, and locations of materials collected. 

To date, over 50,000 divers from 114 countries have taken part in this citizen science program in an effort both to clean up the ocean and build evidence of the global marine litter crisis.

The marine debris data collected by the volunteer divers who took part in the Dive Against Debris® survey dives at the Deerfield Beach Pier will now go through thorough quality review before the results are added to the global Dive Against Debris map.

“What an amazing day for conservation and an amazing day for the dive community” said Jack FishmanProject AWARE Conservation Officer. “We are overwhelmed by the success of Dixie Divers’ event but we want to emphasize that you don’t need to take part in an event to make a difference. We all have the power to create positive change for the ocean each day and every time we dive”.

For more information about getting involved, check out the Latest Campaigns. Join ocean adventurers worldwide. Make Every Dive a Survey Dive and say No to single-use plastic to help stop the Ugly Journey of Trash at the source.

Source: DiveNewswire.com

As the crowd heard the final count of 633, excitement ensued and cheers could be heard across the entire Deerfield Beach! Congratulations to Pavan Arilton for setting a world record for a phenomenal cause!
Guinness World Record for largest underwater clean up with Dixie Divers! As the crowd heard the final count of 633, excitement ensued and cheers could be heard across the entire Deerfield Beach! Congratulations to Pavan Arilton for setting a world record for a phenomenal cause! Source: ©SnapPhotography&Cinema

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