'It gets pretty ugly out there' - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

'It gets pretty ugly out there'

Divers make annual plunge to collect trash from bottom of Lake Coeur d'Alene

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Posted: Monday, September 24, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 11:29 am, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

COEUR d'ALENE - The pile of trash mounted at the Third Street boat launch near the base of Tubbs Hill had passersby marveling in disgust.

Some would stop and frown, some whistled to show they were impressed, yet others just shook their heads as they hoofed by to the hiking trails.

All of them, though, noticed.

Soda cans, beer cans - lots of beer cans - a grill, a shoe sole, glass bottles and, well, more beer cans - the collection came from the bottom of Lake Coeur d'Alene.

"People just don't understand what they do when they throw things in the lake," Brian Meehan said as he stopped to take in the heaping sight. "I'm sure that's just a tiny, tiny portion of it, unfortunately."

Meehan's right, it's just a sample, pulled out by 10 good-willed scuba divers Sunday on an underwater trash collection trip organized by the diving business, Tom's Diving Adventures.

"It gets pretty ugly out there," said Tim McCall, owner of the diving business.

But, he added, every little bit helps.

And while the annual diving tradition, in it's ninth year now, can't clean every speck off the lake bottom, divers do get a satisfaction knowing they've played a part in beautifying the body of water locals - not to mention tourists - hold so dear.

Plus, they said, it's fun. Any reason to get underwater is a good one. Who knew chores could be so fun?

"I hate to say it, but it was a blast," said Kay Stephens, on retrieving can after underwater can, which divers collected in sacks and then dumped into one big above-surface pile. "Isn't that ridiculous?"

Divers stuck to the marina area, reaching depths of 20 feet or so. Seeing the lake from below gives a person a completely different outlook, they said.

There are automobiles sunk down there, boats too, of course, and funny how divers find lots of articles of clothing around the base of Tubbs Hill - leftovers from striping down and jumping in, perhaps.

"There's a sailboat out there and one of the hydroplanes," McCall said, pointing out toward the water. "Well, a shell of it."

While a beer can is less impressive, bring up enough of them and you could have the size of a Buick or, heaven forbid, a yacht.

"You think, 'It's just one can, just one bottle,'" Meehan said, looking down at the heap of trash. "And then look at that."

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3 comments:

  • Grrrrr posted at 8:38 am on Mon, Sep 24, 2012.

    Grrrrr Posts: 51

    I (sadly) know three clumsy people who have dropped wallets, cellphones and car keys while getting in boats at the deeper end of the launch (not all on the same day)......so that makes me wonder, did they bring up ANYTHING of value? I think we all know it's down there… somewhere in the gooey bottom.

     
  • Redtwin2 posted at 7:18 am on Mon, Sep 24, 2012.

    Redtwin2 Posts: 35

    I often wonder if divers have ever recovered any of the many tools my grandfather "gave" to the lake while building the Beauty Bay Bridge. Story goes that the guys that worked on the bridge called it "Bob's bridge" because he probably paid for the bridge in the number of tools he lost to the water.

     
  • wheels1 posted at 7:15 am on Mon, Sep 24, 2012.

    wheels1 Posts: 404

    thanks for the effort, much appreciated.

     
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