by Sabine Kerkau
First ghost net recovery 2022 Off the island of Rügen
From 28 Apri to 01 May 2022 we returned to Rügen to start the cleanup of the next wreck. Almost 30 divers and non-divers wanted to help in this action. We were on the way with 2 rubber dinghies, a research vessel with Krahn (the Goor II) and the Alu boat of the dive center Prora.
It was an organizational challenge to coordinate the six teams distributed on the four boats in such a way that a safe and successful work was guaranteed at any time.
Among the participants we had some experienced but also many new faces who wanted to try net cutting for the first time. So the teams had to be put together with a lot of tact. In addition, we were again supported by the diving group of Greenpeace who also had to be integrated.
Tom Kürten and Wolfgang Frank did an excellent job in every aspect.
The first wreck we approached was unfortunately very silted up after the winter storms and the nets were mostly under a two meter high new layer of sand. We were disappointed at first but Wolfgang brought us to another wreck in the immediate vicinity where there was more than enough for us to do. The 30 meter long wooden wreck was covered with several trawl nets. Most of the nets were pulled deep into the openings and cracks of the wreck.
We had to carefully loosen the nets and remove them from the wreck with lifting bags. The initial very good visibility very quickly turned into a so-called silt out, which means zero visibility and orientation is only possible by feel. The removal of the nets from this wreck was much more difficult than from the Flying Dutchman 2021.
In the end we were able to remove about 300Kg of net from the wreck. It was a very good and successful weekend that we hope to repeat in October 2022.
Anyone who would like to help is welcome to sign up. Donations are also very welcome.
Please also remember to vote for us so we have a chance to win the BOOT Dive Award in January 2023.
Pictures and Report by Sabine Kerkau