News: Navy divers, Yokosuka Bubble Club clean ocean for Earth Day
Story by Joseph Schmitt
YOKOSUKA, Japan - U.S. Navy divers from Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center Yokosuka and amateur diving enthusiasts from Yokosuka Bubble Club cleaned up the ocean surface and seafloor in Green Bay Marina, April 27.
“Every year the Bubble Club does a cleanup on Earth Day and today we are continuing that tradition,” said Tim Cronin, event coordinator and Bubble Club vice president. “We are cooperating with University of Phoenix in Yokosuka and the SRF divers to pick up some trash and remove things that don’t belong in the water.”
The two groups of divers swam during the morning and by lunch they retrieved more than a dozen tires, a mountain bike, a scooter, some cables, pipes and many smaller objects.
“We had 11 Bubble Club members in the water working hard out there,” said Cronin. “People don’t realize how difficult it can be to get some of those things to the surface. It might seem light on land, but when you have all your gear on and then try to swim up those same things feel really heavy.”
The Navy divers used their boat and diving rigs to clean up the deeper areas of the marina. The team members on the pier worked with the divers in the water to tie ropes to heavier items and bring them to a dumpster.
“This is the third year I’ve participated in the cleanup and it’s always a good time to not only do our job, but also do something good for the environment,” said Navy Diver 2nd Class Ryan Guenther, SRF-JRMC diver. “We all live around and use the ocean so it’s important that we take the time to ensure we are keeping it clean.”
Japanese Master Labor Contract employees who are members of the Bubble Club also participated in cleaning up the area. They said it was a good opportunity to clean up the area and show the Japanese people that the military community is a good steward of the ocean.
“It is similar to a house, if you use it for a long time sometime you will have to clean it,” said Junji Kameyama, Bubble Club member. “I enjoy diving. I also enjoy keeping the place here clean.”
After removing the debris, all the divers and the support team on shore joined together for a barbeque.
This year the local University of Phoenix office sponsored part of the barbeque and cleanup to show their support for Earth Day and the cleanup efforts.