Wärtsilä’s Dive Against Debris 2021: Electric scooters, bikes and a shopping cart lifted off the seafloor as divers clean Helsinki shore

Wärtsilä Corporation, News 9 September 2021 at 11:00 UTC+2
  • Group of volunteers celebrated the amount of trash cleaned from the shore and sea. © Wärtsilä
  • Diver handing over trash. © Wärtsilä
  • Trash picked up from the seafloor. © Wärtsilä
  • Diver preparing for going underwater. © Wärtsilä
  • Trash picked up from the seafloor. © Wärtsilä

Wärtsilä organized the annual Dive Against Debris event on 28th of August in Tokoinranta, Helsinki

The Baltic Sea seems calm on a Saturday afternoon, 28th of August – only a few air bubbles reveal what’s going on under the surface. It was again time for Dive Against Debris, annual event organised by Wärtsilä, where divers gather to clean up garbage from the Baltic Sea. Located in Tokoinranta, Helsinki, volunteer divers lifted a massive 373,8 kilograms of garbage from the sea.In addition to Wärtsilä volunteers, the event was made possible by divers and shore support from CNNd, Finnish Divers’ Federation, Diving Club H2O, SATAKOLKYT, Helsinki volunteer fire department and Café Koma.

The increasing collection of garbage, including bikes, shopping cart, electric scooters and more, gained the attention of passers-by, many of whom were inspired to join the cleaning effort with garbage tongs available for loan. The weight and type of debris was carefully collected and reported to the global PADI AWARE Foundation. The foundation, formerly known as Project AWARE, is a publicly funded non-profit with three registered charities across the globe. The aim of the foundation is to drive local action for global ocean conservation.

The Baltic Sea is among the most polluted seas in the world and the poor condition of the sea is endangering the marine life. Dive Against Debris event was held in celebration of the Baltic Sea Day (held on 26.08.), initiated by John Nurminen Foundation, which aims to raise awareness for the condition of the sea and empower people to take action to preserve it.

Many divers had been a part of the event already on previous years, but the event gathered some new faces as well. Diver Jukka Lindevall participated in the diving activities for the first time, describing the experience as rewarding:

“The visibility was bad, and I couldn’t see further than my mask, so I had to feel out the trash with my hands. In just 30 minutes, I had picked out bottles and beer cans and parts of a wire fish trap. It’s great that events like these are arranged, it’s always good to be a part of projects like these as a diver.”

“This type of trash that is found on the seafloor could be easily avoided, if people just made a conscious effort not to litter. It is our responsibility to keep the seas clean, not only for our own enjoyment but also for the marine life,” tells Harri Mäkelä, one of the Wärtsilä employees that established the event seven years ago.

According to the organizers Mauro Sacchi and Harri Mäkelä, the inspiration for the event came from Wärtsilä’s aim to enable sustainable societies and their own background in diving.

“If we want safe waters to swim and fish in, the seas need to be protected. The Baltic Sea is home to many unique forms of life that are endangered because of humans. As long as trash ends up in the seas, these kinds of events are needed for raising people's awareness,” Harri says.

The Dive Against Debris will return on the last Saturday of August 2022, and we encourage everyone to share your ideas for next year!