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Ghost Diving multi-nation SS Mars clean-up


Ghost Diving

On 29 July 2023, a team of incredible volunteers from Ghost Diving UK and Ghost Diving NL came together for a noble cause – to lift a massive ‘ghost net' from the depths of the North Sea.

The abandoned trawler net had been causing untold damage to marine life and wreaking havoc on the ocean ecosystem.

From as far away as the Netherlands, these dedicated volunteers travelled to England to embark on their mission. The focus was on removing a huge trawler net from the wreck of the SS Mars, located just a few miles off the coast of the scenic St Mary's Lighthouse Nature Reserve.

Ghost Diving
The net removed from the water

The two-day operation was no small feat! Using the dive boat Spellbinder 2 as their platform, the volunteers tackled the task with unwavering determination. The SS Mars wreck, sitting at a depth of 33m, was carefully cleaned of the ghost net during the first day. The very next day, they turned their attention to the Dolphin wreck off the coast of Blyth, Northumberland, lifting several gillnets in the process.

Prior to the heroic lift, the volunteers conducted surveys over three dives, meticulously planning the removal of the trawler net. The successful operation ensured that the ghost net was taken for recycling to the Journey Blues net collection programme at Blyth harbour, which stood in sight of both wrecks. A true example of turning the problem into a solution!

Ghost Diving
Working on the net underwater

With this courageous effort, the volunteers took a massive step towards restoring balance and protecting our precious marine friends, as well as preserving a beloved Northeast dive site.

Let's give a round of applause to the incredible team of Ghost Diving volunteers who selflessly devoted their time and skills to this vital cause: Jenny Staddon, Ad Groenenberg, Marcel Kersten, Andrzej Belzyt, Chris Preston, Len Cole, Dominic Willis, Nigel Aucott, and Duncan Simpson.

Special thanks to Skipper Alan Lopez and deckhand Mark for their invaluable support during this mission!

Photo credit: Duncan Simpson

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Picture of Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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