Eco-Dive cleans up Hudson lakefront
Tyllore Martelle - Staff Writer
While the entire Sioux Lookout area and surrounding communities dealt with a power outage all day Sunday, the divers of the Patricia Pelican Scuba Club as well as volunteers took time to clean up the commercial Hudson waterfront.
Twenty-three people participated in the dive, in addition to six active divers throughout the day. The event began with scuba club treasurer Shawn Burke, who was acting as dive coordinator, and the rescue diver giving a safety brief for the divers. Club president Chuck Abela explained the purpose of the dive and the diving boundaries for the divers.
Burke commented, “Patricia Pelican Scuba Club is cleaning up this area because it’s been a commercial dock for about 100 years and there’s a lot of garbage under water.
“Divers worked in pairs using lift bags and special lift buckets to remove debris from the water. Divers would fill the buckets and bring them to the crew on the docks who would then carry them to the disposal trailer.
“Divers also used lift bags to remove old tires and, in some cases, attached ropes so they could be brought to shore. Old bicycles, numerous tires, bottles, cans, shoes, boots, signs, cables, old pots, etc. were removed.
“We removed over 1000 pounds of debris. We also were especially proud of the work our youth volunteer diver from Dryden did as it was only his third time underwater.
“The divers go through a lot more air doing this type of work than just recreational diving. Because of the weight of the stuff and their having to fill their BC’s up more to lift them up. They’ll use about twice as much air as normal,” Burke concluded.
Four years ago the club got back together after raising money to purchase the equipment they needed to fill the oxygen tanks. The piece of equipment that fills the tanks costs around $4500 and about $1000 yearly to maintain it and test the oxygen twice a year. Before this, the closest places to fill the oxygen tanks were either Kenora or Winnipeg. The oxygen used by the scuba club is clean enough to be used in hospitals.
Anybody who is interested in getting involved with the scuba club is encouraged to keep an eye open for the many different events the club holds throughout the year. Diving equipment can be purchased used and after taking a diver’s certification course, anyone can learn how to dive.