Lansallos Beach

08/08/2015

Blog by Rob Thompson

A Lot Can Happen in a Year!

Lansallos is special to me for many reasons; the most poignant being, it’s where Dive Against Debris Volunteers UK was established a little less than a year ago. This weekend, like the first, was one to remember and the desire to do more was still just as infectious. From the concept of our group being born around a campfire to date, that enthusiasm has spread like wildfire. Bound together with little more than optimism and a hope for change, with good will as our primary resource, our group has gone from strength to strength and clearly captured the imaginations of many.

I take great pride in being part of a group of dedicated Volunteer Marine Conservationists; always willing to lend their individual talents to our cause. In the past year, not only have we removed a large quantity of debris from our oceans, but we’ve also created awareness about marine debris. We have achieved this by having several articles in magazines and on websites, a couple of radio interviews, featuring on BBC more than once, building strong links with other conservation bodies and joining them in signing a statement of intent, committing us all to work together to produce pilot schemes to help further our cause. We have even had the honour of meeting TRH the prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall and discussing our work.

The recent Lansallos event was the perfect showcase of how well we all work together; there were a lot of logistics involved in that day. I smiled when Emma Ruminski (BBC news reporter) stated that she was surprised to hear we had been doing this for less than year, as it all seemed to be run so professionally. A high credit indeed to you all, especially as this time last year we barely all knew one another. The day was faultless; even the weather behaved itself for once, providing us with its nicest day of the year. The suggestion from Keith (Kernow Divers) that maybe we could do a Lobster release as well, with the National Lobster Hatchery, was a stroke of genius. I love doing the releases and after removing several hundred pieces of life threatening debris from the sea; to replace it with 550 new lives fills you with hope.

The whole day wouldn’t have been possible without the help from the National Trust, whose Ranger Ben Norwood spent the day ferrying all our kit and the camera crew to and fro from the cove in his Landrover. Our beach clean volunteers managed to clean not only Lansallos beach, but also the coves either side, ensuring a large amount of debris will not be washed back out to sea. All of this was captured on film by the BBC, helping us to raise further awareness of the Marine Debris Crisis. In what is now a new Lansallos tradition, the event was followed by a highly enjoyable BBQ, campfire and camping in one of the most beautiful spots Cornwall has to offer. A well deserved treat for those who made the last year possible. Here’s looking forward to what the next year holds in store for Dive Against Debris Volunteers UK.

Update from 21st November 2015 by Anita Chevalier

It is wonderful to be able to share the story of the Frisbee brought to shore by a diver at Lansallos this year. The Frisbee had a phone number written on it and after a call to the owners, we were able to return the Frisbee, no longer debris it will be enjoyed and played with again 🙂 🙂 the lovely thank you letter from the family is below:

“Thank you so much for returning my sons Aerobie Frisbee and your letter. He was delighted to get it back after it was accidentally thrown too hard on the beach and out into the sea. He was convinced he would never see it again.

His school project during the holidays was to write about something he had brought on holiday and what he used it for. His project will be about his Aerobie and how it was lost then found by ‘Dive against Debris VUK’.

Thank you and keep up the good work.”

Video courtesy of Tom Turner @ Paramore Productions

BBC Breakfast TV Report