Divers from across the United States and around the world are coming together in an attempt to break the world record for the largest underwater cleanup. More than 700 divers are expected to take part in the record attempt in Deerfield Beach, Florida, USA, on 15 June 2019.
Sponsored by local dive centers, PADI® and Project AWARE®, the event brings together the local and international dive communities with dozens of teams including dive centers, clubs, university groups and members of the dive industry participating. Marine debris removed during the event will be recorded via Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris®, an underwater debris data-collection program that improves the health of ocean ecosystems through localized citizen-science efforts and provides valuable information to help inform policy change.
“This event will be environmentally and socially beneficial for the community as a whole,” says Arilton Pavan, event organizer and owner of Dixie Divers, a PADI Five Star Dive Center in Deerfield Beach. “The cleanup will bring together divers, volunteers and local businesses, and further supports ocean health by doing our part to keep our local waters clean and raise awareness about ocean conservation efforts on a global scale.”
A judge will be present to make the record for Most participants in an underwater cleanup in 24 hours (single venue) official during the event. The title is currently held by Ahmed Gabr, who organized 614 scuba divers for a cleanup in Egypt on 5 June 2015.
In 2018, 386 scuba divers in Deerfield Beach were awarded with theGUINNESS WORLD RECORDSä title of Longest human chain underwater. At the record-breaking event, participants rallied to clean up the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier, which supports an abundance of marine life but is normally closed to divers because of fishing. More than 300 volunteers collected one-half ton of lead weights, 52 pounds of wood, 161 pounds of fishing line, 104 pounds of metal, and 102 pounds of miscellaneous debris, which were removed from Deerfield Beach shores. Additionally, 219 miles of fishing line were removed from the pier’s pilings. With hundreds of additional divers participating, this year’s event is expected to generate an even greater impact.
“As divers, we have a unique perspective, seeing first-hand the underwater world’s wonder and fragility, and likely some of its challenges,” says Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide. “We have a responsibility to serve as the oceans’ ambassadors to help others see and understand the problems, and demonstrate how we can make better choices to protect our environment. This event will exemplify what can be accomplished when we, as a global community of divers, act together as a force for good.”
All certified divers, whether new to diving or highly experienced, are invited to register to be part of the record attempt. Non-divers are encouraged to get involved as volunteers or to take the PADI Open Water Diver course prior to the event to join in the underwater cleanup. Participating divers are encouraged to take the PADI Dive Against Debris Specialty course with their local PADI Dive Center or Resort in advance of the cleanup to learn about marine debris and how to establish a Dive Against Debris survey.
The event is free to the public; however, a $30 administration fee is charged to be part of the record attempt to help pay for the official judging and other expenses of an undertaking of this magnitude. Advance registration to be a diver or volunteer (free) is required. Those who choose to participate in the attempt will receive a long-sleeve wicking shirt, a small gift bag and will be eligible to apply for an official certificate of world record attempt participation. Volunteers who are not in the attempt will receive a free event t-shirt and goodie bag.
Leaders in the dive industry are encouraged to rally their divers to participate in the world’s largest underwater cleanup as a team.