Neptune’s Army of Rubbish Cleaners (NARC), the Welsh dive team that carries out regular underwater clean-ups off the coast of Pembrokeshire each summer, has inspired a new team of volunteers – in Greece.
Loutraki Divers was started in 2013 by divers Chrysanthos Chormpas and George Spyropoulos after Google had led them to NARC. And to show their appreciation and learn more, they recently invited some of the Welsh volunteers to join them on dives in local harbours and beaches.
Over several dives the combined team recovered 3170kg of litter.
NARC reported that the individual items were all too familiar, including discarded furniture, plastic bottles, cans, batteries and tyres. The visiting divers also helped to free fish tangled in line, as they do at home. Where possible NARC sorts, records and recycles rubbish collected.
“We loved diving with the volunteers from Neptune’s Army of Rubbish Cleaners,” said Loutraki Divers’ founders. “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 have shared their experience with us and we know this is only the beginning of a great unique partnership.”
In its three years Loutraki Divers has removed more than 22 tonnes of rubbish in 74 operations on the Greek mainland and the islands of Spetses, Poros and Hydra.
“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!” said NARC volunteer Liz Jones. “Marine litter is a global issue that is faced by so many. Joining forces to tackle this problem is what it’s all about.”
NARC was started in 2005 by Pembrokeshire diver Dave Kennard in co-operation with Keep Wales Tidy, but relies solely on sponsors and donations. It also welcomes new volunteers – more here
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