NCFL divers help set world record for underwater cleanup

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -- The fish under Deerfield Beaches pier may be smiling after a team of 7 Ocala divers helped break a world record for the largest underwater clean up this weekend.

Diving and swimming are banned underneath the Deerfield Beach pier except for once a year when there's an underwater cleanup. However this year they decided in order to draw in as many divers as possible, they'd try to beat the record once set in Egypt of a 615 person underwater cleanup.

The Ocala divers already have an underwater clean-up operation for the Silver Spring but wanted to help the cause for history.
Dr. Joe Wallace who is the Director of Silver Spring Professional Dive Team said, "we clean the glass bottom boats and the Greek statues and pick up debris out there so it was not a reach for us at all to say hey let's go down and help them with this particular project so we did."

The whole entire operation took 2 hours, and what divers saw under the waves was marine life living in direct contact with every type of trash imaginable.
Brandon Delk who is a certified PADI divemaster and took part int he clean up said, "the aquatic life is so diverse I mean I saw anything from sharks to octopus. The marine life underneath the pier itself there's just fish everywhere I mean it was not bare at all there are reefs. It's sad to see all this debris and weights, fishing line it's just strung up on the reefs."

Chase Nawrocki also helped the cleanup efforts and stated, "trash inevitably goes over the side. We know it happens but when you're down there below you can actually see the effect of it, so out of sight out of mind we don't see it floating on top of the water it doesn't mean it's not there."

There were teams stationed on the pier who lowered buckets into the water and when divers filled the bucket they tugged on the rope and the thousands of pounds of trash was hauled away.
Delk said, " just to see 3200 pounds of debris that we pulled out of the water there were over 9000 individual pieces and I believe more than 3 miles of fishing line."

In total 633 divers took part in the cleanup breaking the previous world record, coming from as far as Europe and Australia just for this event.