The volunteers of Neptune’s Army of Rubbish Cleaners, who carry out regular underwater clean up dives off the coast of Pembrokeshire, have inspired diving enthusiasts in Greece to follow suit.
Loutraki Divers was born out of a google search by diving experts Chrysanthos Chormpas and George Spyropoulos from Greece. To thank Neptune’s Army for the inspiration and to also learn more, a handful of Pembrokeshire volunteers were invited to visit Greece last week to talk everything marine litter and carry out some joint dives in local harbours and beaches.
Unsurprisingly the Grecian litter is much like that found in Wales, as the volunteers recovered the usual finds, such as tables, chairs, plastic bottles, cans, batteries, fishing line and tyres. Similarly the volunteers cut free local fish that had become tangled up in fishing line.
The group completed several dives in Greece, recovering a total of 3,170 kilograms of debris. One of the volunteers Liz Jones, who is a vet from Carew Pembrokeshire said:
“It is fantastic to have been able to influence Loutraki Divers, despite being from two different countries. The trip to Greece was about information sharing but after the cold sea off the coast of Pembrokeshire, decent visibility and warm water was definitely a welcome change! Marine litter is a global issue that is faced by so many. Joining forces to tackle this problem is what it’s all about.”
Chrysanthos Chormpas and George Spyropoulos of Loutraki Divers said:
“We loved diving with the volunteers from Neptune’s Army of Rubbish Cleaners. After seeing so much debris and man-made litter under the sea here in Greece, we knew we had to do something to help. The team from Wales has shared their experience with us and we know this is only the beginning of a great unique partnership.”