North Bay scuba divers clean Lake Nipissing marina

Divers from the North Bay Scuba Club were gearing up and diving into Lake Nipissing's Marina boat launch to clean the waters of trash and debris ahead of the boating season.

It's also a warm up dive for club members who look ahead to starting their diving season. Six divers split up into pairs to remove what they could find in the depths of the murky waters.

"Certainly anything foreign in the water contributes to pollution and we do it as a service to the city and the marina" said North Bay Scuba Club member Rick Taylor. "Let's say there's a lawn chair down under the water and you come in with your boat. That could get caught up in your propeller."

Divers fished out beer cans, tires, rope and a whole patio umbrella.

It's also a warm up dive for scuba divers like Andrew Taylor. With his goggles on, and air tank strapped to his back, he's been fascinated by the mystery underwater.

"There's that experience of weightlessness that you have when you can see 40 feet below you and you see the bottom and you're just flying down towards it" said Taylor.

They've been cleaning the shallow area for the last 20 years finding all sorts of things.

"In the past, we've taken things out like boat tops, tarps, barbecues, tools, sunglasses and propellers" said Rick Taylor.

In some cases, the divers are able to return lost objects to the owner. The north Bay Fire Department reached out to the club asking its divers to search for a lost firefighter axe.

"Apparently they were doing a water rescue simulation and training and it was lost or slipped out of their hands during the winter" explained diver Rick Thibeault.

It was Thibeault's task to find and retrieve the axe.

The scuba club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It used to offer training courses for new scuba divers. But that stopped about a decade ago. It still welcomes new divers of all levels who are looking to find peace and serenity when submerged underwater.

"If could stay longer, I would live there if I could" smiled Thibeault. He added veteran divers still get that thrill when taking a journey underwater.