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Cleaning up the SS Stanwood in the Carrick Roads, Falmouth

Sunday afternoon, our team of

volunteers were out busy recovering ghost gear and marine debris from the wreck of the SS Stanwood in Carrick Roads, Fal Estuary, Cornwall.

The aim was to clear the wreckage of the ghost gear and marine debris that had collected amongst the wreckage, which is broken up and sitting at a depth of between 15 and 25m on an underwater slope. Due to the wreck location, it regularly catches litter and debris from upstream.

We knew the dive would be challenging, as the recent bad weather had once again churned up the visibility. However, the teams of divers were undeterred, and with each team focusing on a different area of wreck, the first lift bags appeared after just a few minutes.

During the course of the afternoons two dives the teams successfully removed a significant amount of ALDFG, including a variety of monofilament net, trawl net, monofilament fishing lines often complete with hooks and lures, ropes of varying thicknesses and a crushed lobster pot.

Along with the large variety of ghost gear, the team removed a generous amount of marine litter, such as the usual cans and plastic bottles, which get caught on the wreckage from upstream. As well as the usual litter, the divers found other plastic items such as gloves, a knife sheath, and our first ever sea toilet! Unfortunately, given the location, an item such as this is more likely to have been intentionally discarded from a boat during a refit and really does highlight some people's attitudes to the marine environment.

Special thanks to Natural England for making this project possible by providing the funds for the charter to enable a larger team of local divers and surface crew to get involved, as well as new equipment that we will be able to re-use going forward on projects throughout the summer. Thank you to Moonshadow Charter Boat for providing the boat and cups of hot chocolate for the volunteers.

And as always, thank you to all our supporters who keep us going throughout the year so that we can continue our work in cleaning the marine environment around Cornwall and Devon.

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