Claudio Furlan adds his haul to the collection of trash during the Okanagan Diving Club lake cleanup at the Vernon Yacht Club Sunday.

Claudio Furlan adds his haul to the collection of trash during the Okanagan Diving Club lake cleanup at the Vernon Yacht Club Sunday.

Making a splash for the environment

Okanagan Dive Club goes to great depths to clean lake floor at Vernon Yacht Club

Frigid temperatures didn’t keep a group of local divers from going overboard to clean their community Sunday.

As part of their winter solstice dive, several members of the Okanagan Dive Club went to great depths to clean up the lake bottom at the Vernon Yacht Club.

“They got quite a bit of junk lifted off the bottom,” said Craig Williams, with the local yacht club.

“It was worthwhile for sure.”

Tools, keys, bottles and a cell phone were among the items retrieved from under the club’s docks, where the temperature was a chilling five degrees Celsius just at the surface.

Although that might seem cold for many, for the divers decked out in dry suits it was actually warmer in the water than it was out.

“It was a clear sunny day, a beautiful day for a midday dive,” said Claudio Furlan, Okanagan Dive Club member.

“The dive was a success with each diver coming out of the water with their mesh bags full – cans, bottles, towel, pieces of boat, cell phone, boat squeegee, flag, hand tools, for sale sign.”

Along with all the litter, the local yacht club is particularly satisfied to see some potentially toxic items removed from the lake.

“People are always dropping keys and cell phones and those are things with batteries,” said Williams.

“If it has a battery in it, it can leach out.”

The divers even found a full size battery that fell off someone’s boat, and will be returning to retrieve it with adequate tools.

And the clean up is expected to become a routine event.

“We’re going to do it on a regular basis now,” said Williams, hoping to get some divers back in the spring before the club kicks off the boating season with its annual boat show May 5 and 6.