We’re always proud to see paddle sports being used to do good by the world, but this time paddlers from the nonprofit surf and SUP brand, Salty Dog Paddle, really blew it out of the water. Quite literally.
On June 15, 2019, in Deerfield Beach, Florida Salty Dog Paddle and its sponsor – Dixie Divers – officially set the record in the upcoming 2021 Guinness Book of World Records for the Largest Underwater Clean-up in history. During the attempt, more than 544 kg (1,200 lb) of trash were removed from the Deerfield Beach Pier by SCUBA diving participants who passed the trash to paddlers from the charity on stand-up paddleboards, Careful not to dump the trash back into the water, paddlers transported the trash to the beach so divers could avoid getting out of the water each time to empty their bags.
Thanks to the work of the paddlers and the SUP’s provided by Salty Dog Paddle, the waters at Deerfield Beach are cleaner. After gathering a total of 633 divers at Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier, the charity set the record for the largest underwater clean up in 24 hours – successfully removing debris that consisted of fishing line, garbage, even larger materials such as boat ladders and barbells, which previously laid beneath the water’s surface. Divers for the event traveled in from all over the world to become a part of record-breaking history – some who are based as far as Europe and South America.
The participants spent two and a half hours scouring the depths of the sea for any waste that could be degrading the ecosystem. According to locals, the cleanup has significantly improved the water quality for marine life in the area, and residents are hopeful that it will increase populations. The city of Deerfield Beach took all debris from the attempt and sent it to be recycled. Salty Dog Paddle has since announced that the underwater cleanup will continue in association with Dixie Divers as an annual event.