This past Saturday, volunteer divers took to the water at Point Panic in search of garbage for Nudi Wear’s monthly underwater cleanup. Each month, divers from across Oahu team up to remove garbage from the Kewalo Basin boat channel just outside of Waikiki. Nudi Wear and their volunteers have been cleaning this site once a month for the past year and a half. Each time, we are blown away by the amount of trash that is found.

This month, we had a big turn out with 18 divers showing up ready to help. Our volunteer dive team ranges from open water divers to dive professionals. Everyone works together and ensure safety comes first since we are diving around a very active boat channel. We use surface markers to notify the passing boats that we have divers in the water as well as dive in buddy groups. Divers new to the site are briefed on the hazards of diving in this location and given pointers to ensure their safety. Surface support is ready to assist divers as they surface with getting the rubbish out of the water and up the stairs. Some of those bags are HEAVY!

After the safety briefing and buddy checks, the divers headed into the water in teams. Some groups used diver propulsion vehicles (DPVs) to cover more ocean floor and to assist with heavy items while others started cleaning right at the entry. Even though we clean the entrance once a month, new items accumulate and surge uncovers buried items. Some divers used lift bags to remove heavy items such as the large machinery tire that was removed. Another group of divers worked together to carefully free a 25 foot section of net and ropes that had wrapped around the reef.

In total, 378 pounds of garbage was brought to the surface and removed from the channel! We always find a large amount of glass bottles and aluminum cans. Some of the bottles and cans could be dated back to the 1920’s, showing that people have been dumping their waste into this channel for over 100 years!

Some notable items removed were 2 chairs, several fishing poles, PVC pipes, a large machinery tire, and a hat. There was also a lot of the usual single use plastics and fishing line with lead weights and hooks.

A huge mahalo to all of the volunteers who donated their time and skills to help take care of our ocean. A special thanks to Ruckus Sportfishing & Diving for donating a 2 tank charter to our lucky raffle winner Dan Okamura. Also a special thanks to Jaime Urbina with Aukai Scuba for supplying DPVs and Jenifer Buck for surface support and taking photos. Check out our upcoming events page if you are interested in joining us for a future cleanup!