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RN divers do their bit to stop plastic pollution

6 December 2019
Members of the Royal Navy’s Reserve Diving Group (RDG) recently picked up plastic from the seabed while training around the Kyle of Lochalsh.

During the week-long Weapons Training diving, the team of 16 divers practiced endurance swimming in tidal conditions, operating in Scuba equipment in depths of up to 30 metres which meant that the divers were quite often close to the seabed.

Lieutenant Commander (Lt Cdr) Richard Watson, who was coordinating the training, thought it would be good to do a little bit for the environment and asked his divers to look out for and recover any plastics they spotted while down there.

“Over a period of time, as the plastic breaks down, it can be a hazard to smaller marine species.  If we all do our little bit to clean up our environment we may help improve the seas around the United Kingdom that are contaminated with plastics.” Said Lt Cdr Watson.

The Reserve Diving Group (RDG) support Fleet Diving Squadron in Maritime Explosive Ordnance Reconnaissance and consist of personnel from many different civilian careers, such as Police and Fire Service as well as former Regular Royal Navy and Army divers.

They can be called upon by the Commanding Officer Fleet Diving Squadron to conduct searches of ship’s hulls, jetties and inshore and offshore installations. The team train regularly to maintain the high level of diving endurance which is required to fulfil this requirement.

These plastics certainly could be a hazard to the extensive marine mammals found around the Kyle of Lochalsh. These mammals range from otters, seals and porpoises to whales and are quite prolific in the Kyles and Sound of Rassay sea areas

Lt Cdr Watson

Fleet Diving Squadron are ready to deploy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, to safely identify and neutralise threats underwater. They deploy worldwide in a matter of hours, using unique skills to ensure ships and shipping lanes are safe, and reduce the danger posed to coastal areas by reducing the chance of mines washing up on the shore.

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