WATCH: Diver struggles to wade through rubbish in Durban harbour

2019-01-05 16:11
Video footage of a diver, struggling to make his way out of the Durban harbour due to the sea of trash blocking his way, has surfaced on social media.

Video footage of a diver, struggling to make his way out of the Durban harbour due to the sea of trash blocking his way, has surfaced on social media. (Clean Surf Project)

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Video footage of a diver struggling to make his way out of the Durban harbour due to a line of trash has surfaced on social media.

The Clean Surf Project uploaded the video to Facebook and it has since garnered more than 124 000 views.

The diver in the video told News24 that the rubbish was about a half a metre thick. 

"I jumped in and I don't know how I even got through it to attempt the dive. After a half an hour's diving, to come back up was actually proving quite difficult. I couldn't see where I was. There was just rubbish above my head. I had to kind of dig my way up," he said.

The diver said he even had a plastic bag and a condom stuck to his breathing device at one point. 

"I literally had to leopard crawl over the rubbish and try push myself to the tyre. I struggled."

'It's been around for years'

He's been working in and around the harbour for roughly seven years now and says it has always been filled with litter.

"It's not a new problem, or something that's just cropped up. It's been around for years," he said.

He had been diving in a section of the harbour called Maydon Wharf, located close to the storm water drains at the back of the harbour. After a storm, he says, waste from the city gets washed into the harbour.

"When I dive a lot, within the harbour, especially in the back end, you'll see fish floating dead. You can see plastic around it. I've opened up a few fish and they have plastic inside their stomach."

The diver said there was only one boat, with two men and a net that clean the harbour, and they could easily place nets over the stormwater drains to catch the rubbish.

Clean Surf Project's Candice Harding told News24 the non-profit organisation shared the video in the hope that it would highlight the problem to the public and the powers that be.

"There are so many facets to the problem that it's difficult to pin point how to solve it," she said.

Collecting plastic, not shells

"We are hoping to change people's attitudes towards their single-use plastic consumption and careless disposal of such items."

"Something we use once for a few minutes will last on this Earth for hundreds of years causing untold devastation in its wake."

She says the first step toward change is simply not purchasing plastic products. The second step, she says, is disposing of plastic and other waste materials in a responsible way. 

"When I was little we used to go to the beach and collect shells. Now I've got three kids and we're going and picking up plastic, because it's literally every step you take."

"I don't think people realise how bad it is," Harding said.

She says people often share these videos and comment that something has to be done.

"But it can't just be left to a handful of people. Everyone needs to be doing something." 

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