Govt, volunteer divers join hands for underwater clean-up off KK waters

Sabah Diving Squad Club members taking part in the navy's Borneo Ultra Ocean Cleanup off Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Kota Kinabalu. (Photo courtesy of Sabah Diving Squad Club)

KOTA KINABALU: More than 130 government and volunteer divers joined forces to carry out underwater clean-ups at islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park here.

The one-day event dubbed Borneo Ultra Ocean Cleanup was organised by the Royal Malaysian Navy Submarine Force with members of the Sabah Diving Squad volunteering on Saturday (Sept 23).

Besides them, divers from the army, marine police, Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency, Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Department, National Security Council, and the Fisheries Department, among others, were also involved.

Altogether, there were 138 divers and volunteers assigned to do cleanup at several sites, including the Sabah Parks jetty, Mamutik, Manukan, Sulug and Sapi islands.

Sabah Diving Squad club president Sim Fui hoped that more underwater cleanups will be organised in the future.

"Despite being a new club, we consistently have members who are newly certified scuba divers seeking more exposure to improve their competency, especially in buoyancy and confidence levels,” he said, when met during the cleanup.

"At the same time, we also hope that these newcomers and other scuba divers will become part of marine conservation efforts.

"By participating in underwater cleanup programmes like today, our members have the opportunity to lend a helping hand in clearing some debris," he added.

Sim said the unfavourable weather earlier in the morning had threatened to derail the programme.

"But we were lucky that, after waiting for some time, the weather improved, and surprisingly, the visibility was good, and the temperature was just right for all divers,” he noted.

This year, the club members participated in the second cleanup organised by the navy, and several also collaborated with other organisations such as the Marine Research Foundation.

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