Great Pacific Garbage Patch - Cleanup to Commence!

August 2018

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Crushed plastic bottles

The Club would like to take the opportunity of advising / reminding Members about a proposed plan for clearing some of the vast quantities of plastic garbage that pollute our oceans (please refer to the paper submitted to IMO MSC 99/21/15).

The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organisation, is developing and refining technologies intended to rid the oceans of plastic.  The next step in their journey is the deployment of a passive recovery system that is intended to move with the ocean currents and capture the plastic for recycling.

Following scale model tests and a number of prototype tests in the North Sea the first clean up system, named Wilson after the inanimate character in the film Castaway, is scheduled to be launched from San Francisco, California on the 8th September.  “Wilson” should arrive at its deployment site in the North Pacific Gyre about a month later. It will be 600metres long and configured in a “U” shape.

Full details of the work that The Ocean Cleanup organisation are undertaking can be found on their website and their progress can be further monitored by following them on the various social media platforms, links to which are available on their website.

The video available on this link explains how the Ocean Cleanup operates.

Whilst The Ocean Cleanup have gone to great lengths to prevent collision with their assets and avoid disruption to shipping though their defined five Safety Rings (please see FAQ) the Club would like to remind Members and their staff of the importance of remaining vigilant when operating in and around the The Ocean Cleanup activities.

The requirement to maintain a diligent look out by all available means and, where necessary, take early and appropriate action to avoid collision cannot be over emphasised!