DEERFIELD BEACH, SOUTH FLORIDA – Hundreds of divers teamed up and have broken the Guinness World Record for the largest underwater cleanup in the entire world. The divers accomplished this at Deerfield Beach in South Florida last weekend.
The owner of the diving store called Dixie Divers in Deerfield Beach Arilton Pavan said he’s been organizing a cleanup once a year for the last 15 years as a way to pick up lead weights left behind by fishermen using the city’s pier.
Pavan made the decision to raise the stakes this year, with the goal of breaking the Guinness World Record as a way to encourage divers from all places to attend the big event. The rules state that every person must be a certified diver wearing full scuba gear and must have spent more than 15 minutes underwater searching for trash, according to Pavan. People who participated also were required to sign a liability release before being able to enter the water, Pavan said.
Dixie Divers posted a photo on Facebook with Pavan holding the World Record plaque.
The Guinness World Record Judge was Michael Empric, who counted each diver personally as they went into the water. On Saturday, Mr. Empric announced that a total of 633 people had participated in the underwater event. Previously the underwater cleanup record-holder was in Egypt, when in 2015 a total of 614 divers held an event, said Empric, then he handed Pavan the Guinness World Record plaque that acknowledges the new world record.
In only three hours, divers picked up over 1,200 pounds of lead fishing weights out of the ocean floor bottom, Pavan stated.
According to Pavan, the big event attracted diving enthusiasts from across the country and into his small city. Pavan has owned and operated his store for more than 22 years. The quest-worthy event didn’t just give the attendees a sense of comradely and community, but it also gave the local economy a boost by filling up restaurants and hotel rooms, Pavan said.
There were also about 150 beach volunteers and 80 snorkelers who participated, with a unifying singular goal of helping the environment, Pavan mentioned.
Although the participants weren’t able to find much plastic waste at the cleanup, Pavan noted that the number one thing he sees littering the coral reefs when taking people on dives is plastic shopping bags.
Pavan, a marine enthusiast said he is gradually attempting to educate the community to have a better conscious and be more aware of making efforts in conservation.
Pavan hopes to plan and organize multiple cleanup events in the near future this year.
Pavan’s statements were according to a report by abcnews.com