December 19, 2018 — The divers came to Split, Croatia — about 100 of them — armed with wetsuits, diving masks, and air tanks. They went under, and from the sea emerged tires, garbage dumpsters — even an old mine. Their work created a visual chronicle of humans’ impact on the sea.
The Association of Under Activities Rostrum invited divers from all around Croatia to its annual underwater litter-removal gathering, “Clean Christmas and Bright New Year 2018.” It hoped to clean up the seabed and highlight pollution.
The group of divers cleaned Žnjan Beach, one of the more popular beaches in Split. The Association chose the location after divers discovered its abundant aquatic garbage, according to Morski.hr.
The association couldn’t estimate the total amount of waste removed from the sea. There were tires of all shapes and sizes (over 250), containers, tables, chairs, waste bins, ceramic tiles, plastic cans, aluminum cans, shoes, swimming gear, and even the skeleton of a boat. As if the waste itself was not enough, divers also found an old mine.
Žnjan Beach, located below Split, Croatia’s hospital, was a deceptive site. It appeared bucolic above water. Then the Association released a Facebook album showing mounds of litter beneath the surface.
About 100 divers from all around Croatia and even abroad responded. Volunteers on land helped extract the garbage from the waters.
Tire by tire, bag by bag, shortly after the start of the dive, the bottom began to resemble itself again. The association turned the rubbish into a seaside “Christmas tree”; an eyesore designed to put the problem into stark relief.
The association described it as, “A warning on how negligent behavior towards the environment is kept long under the sea, even during Christmas time when we are not thinking about swimming.”
You can find more stories about eco-friendly activities in Croatia on our Lifestyle page.