Monday, November 2, 2009

Project or environment disaster?

Recently, on a paticular long weekend, one dive-centre embarked on a project, putting structure right outside the cove of Telok Teluran off Pulau Aur. Details of the structure is as follows...

The structure was about 8m by 2m made up of metal pickets, metal strings, hola loops and 1.5L water bottles (Refer to picture below) and was supposed to be a training circuit for a speciality module in diving.
However, there were some questionable issues to be addressed about this project.

First, the materials used for the structure were definately harmful to the environment. Mainly, the paintworks of the metal pickets will react with the seawater causing it to peel off. Such fragments will inevitably be toxic when consumed by any marine creatures. To make it worst, PLASTIC BOTTLES and HOLA HOOPS are well-known trash in the marine environment. Hence, when the structure breaks apart, it will definitely contribute to the millions of tonnes of trash already floating in the oceans.

Secondly, this stucture was doubtlessly not sturdy enough to withstand the forces of nature, for example, underwater currents, corrosive nature of seawater. This was because the structures were merely tied together and not well cemented to each other. Also, the WATER BOTTLES were tied to the handle could easily be detached. Hence, not undermining the FORCES OF NATURE, this structure would indeed not endure.

However, sources had it that the organisers claimed that this structure was located in a sheltered area. This point can easily be disputed with the fact that is there really an area underwater which is free from the works of nature.

Therefore, supplied with sufficient data from various sources, the marine park authorities of Malaysia deployed their craft 2 weeks later to search and remove the structure. Below is the rough location of the structure.

Hence, on a Saturday morning, an undislosed number of divers plunge off the marine park's speedboat to search for the structure and found it at depth of 18m.

To our surprise, the structure was already DISINTEGRATED, leaving only the metal frame on the seabed. To top it up, it is located extremely close to the reef (refer to the picture below). Also THE STRUCTURE WAS NOT LOCATED AT THE SHELTERED REGION OF THE COVE!

What were left are the metal strings tied to the metal frame.

Painworks were already starting to peel off.
The hola-hoops and plastic bottles were not found in the near vicinity of the structure. Probably, it was swept far away by the current, which may cause damage to the marine environment somewhere else.

As such, we planned to remove the structure immediately before this structure disintegrate further. Thus, with our limited manpower, and careful planning and organisation, we managed to dismantle and remove the structure from the seabead within 45mins, while preventing any damage to the surrounding reefs.

As such, there are a few questions to be addressed.

Please note that this is a professional entry... Comments are definitely welcomed... But I would appreciate if anyone who comments refrain from any personal attacks.... Also, it will be good to identify yourself when commenting...


Anonymous said...

Eh! Why are the structures on this boat? I was told by the owner of the structures that those divers took it up one of the diving boats? Verify this please?

Justin Sng said...

To Mr Unknown,

This structure was brought up by the marine park. Hence, it is on their boat.

They brought it back with them....

Anonymous said...

seriously? KNN - i tink i kanna misled already. That owner said it was on a youtube video lerr. Some chicken dance and this bunch of divers put it on that boat. So ... you mean, the owner of the structure LIED?

Justin Sng said...

I did not hear anything about what the owner said...
All I know is that the remains are with marine park

Anonymous said...

funny how one can be so bitter towards an operator when the post before mentions how he was 'rescued', and oddly enough, by the same operator. he should have known better and left you in there you ungrateful piece of turd.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,
Im one of the Dm in the so called chicken dance. There are no structure on the dive boat at that time. From what I know is that Marine Park took out the structure and was in Marine park speedboat. We are not even at the dive site when the structure are being taken out. We are conducting OW and Leisure in Lang at the time. So who ever link the structure and Iscuba, pls get your facts right before he or she comments.


Justin Sng said...

Apparently, you sounded too personal in your comment.. Your sense of judgement is really blurred..

Am I supposed to keep quiet when I see something was wrong? This entry is not a result of any bitterness.. I do not condone any of such acts... And I am merely responding to it...

Anonymous said...

This is the link for the chicken dance.

there are clearly no structure in our boat.


tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

watever it is, i think the main issue is still that there are people who r either intentionally or unintentionally damaging the dive sites. Guess many divers n dive operators r just focusing on the fun part of diving, and forgetting about the conservation part.

Anonymous said...

Am one of the DM for the trip with IScuba.

Please be fair to everyone, the structure is being taken out by Marine Park, and it was all along on their boat. It has nothing to do with us.

No proof or anything saying that we ever touched the structure, so please stop accusing. In fact, i personally did not even see the any part of the structure after it's being removed by Marine Park.


Anonymous said...

I think we should respect the work of marine park. We no pay the $5 for fun. They actualli use money to protect the eviroment, rite? So i think dive operater or not, must know that U DONT OWN THE PARK so u cannot suka suka do wat u like and worse, go get other divers involved. disgusting who ever put the structures down. training with structure like that picture can do in pool or remove after u do. someone tat kind of string can strangle marine life. Evil and senseless. Oya, dun implicate others. Best is u do wrong, admit. other people also run business.

Anonymous said...

There are a few questions that came to my mind;

1. Who in the world is responsible for putting up the structure?
2. Who actually used the structure?
3. Why didn't it occur to the users nd the 'owner' of that there are negative implications?


1. Legal implication: What would happen if someone put up a structure in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve for private use which poses a danger to the wild-life and does not remove it after use? That is equal to some form of illegal disposal. And why would anyone bring a pile of metal and plastic junk to a marine park in another country and 'dispose' it there to use without permission? Who in a socially responsible sense of mind would do that? The very act speaks a lot more than words can to try to justify.

2. Endangerment to Marine-Life: Marine life under-water is in many ways no different from wild-life above water. Both are intricate and requires protection by mutual respect. Once again, action speaks louder than words here.

3. Endangerment to other divers: Divers of various competencies use the same common 'dive-space'. Accidents of all sorts can occur under-water and why would any diver want to put 'structures' other than what nature has given and put other divers in the way of potential danger should underwater conditions change adversely and cause a diver to get entangled with a structure that shouldn't be there in the first place.

Suggestion: Any well-meaning intention (such as the case-in-point here) should be properly assessed and proposed to relevant authorities for consideration and not taken into own hand with many wide-reaching implications.

The person/party responsible should make some form of committment not to undertake similar actions again, with due respect to the larger diving community, marine authorities and wild-life environment.

Note: I wouuldn't like it if a stranger try to put an unwelcomed (dangerous)structure in my home and I wouldn't do the same.


Anonymous said...

Let's hope tat operators will learn to do proper research before doing anything underwater again.. if not what seems good will turn out very bad...


Anonymous said...

Hi TH and Sky, you asked very important questions. Who in their right mind would put up structures like that and why would other divers not stop it, presuming that those divers that followed this operator did some reflection? After all, is it not the responsibility of any diver to also make a judgment call for him/herself on top of what has been proposed by the divemaster or instructor? I am PADI trained for a few years now and i am pretty sure that one of the most important thing is that the diver, at the end of the day, makes his/her own decisions on his/her actions.
Thus, is it a possibility that these divers were merely misinformed and misled? I believe before the sinking of these metal structures, this same operator attempted to carry out a PROJECT AWARE to sink rubber tyres into the reef and was subsequently stopped. Can someone please verify this piece of information please as i do not wish to perpetuate hearsay and malicious rumours. We'll work on facts. However, this project was stopped in the end as it appears that it was not supported by PROJECT AWARE although on the website of this company, it says otherwise. Newbie divers none the wiser?


Anonymous said...

Hence, on a Saturday morning, an undislosed number of divers plunge off the marine park's speedboat to search for the structure and found it at depth of 18m.

Hi all,

I'm another one of the Dms for iscuba doing the chicken dance,the undisclosed number of divers is only 2 of them, and i can assure everyone here that iscuba is not in anyway involve in this whole inccident.


koksheng said...

I think before the embarkment of any new projects, it's probably better to seek opinions from people from different parties and see what can be done in order to make things done safely for both divers and the marine environment. Sometimes more opinions can provide more choices for better suggestions?

Tigerwoman said...

I don't know much about nature conservation, but i know enough that we do not anyhow put structure underwater that will potential pollute the environment

Anonymous said...

So it's quite clear now that iScuba has never been involved - shame on you that operator who tried to point fingers at fellow operators. No integrity whatsoever. The point now is that marine park is just doing their duty - protecting the environment. Let's support marine park, people! Without their hand, we might have just affected another dive site! Oh, btw, i watched the chicken dance video - you guys sure know how to have fun while diving! Hehehe. One more thing, if all of you guys were dancing on that boat, doesn't it mean none of you were involved in the marine park rescue?

Anonymous said...

Laugh! This blog look really interesting when i stumble upon it. And I must say that the chicken dance look really funny. I am glad to see that everyone is enjoying the dives and had loads of fun. However, it seems unacceptable to me that you people use diving as a means to play politics. No matter what it is, I feel that whoever contributed to the above arguements are all at fault.

All of you cannot deny involvement, how did you get the pictures of the so called structure if you are not involved? This is one of the reason why my friends and I hate diving with singapore dive centres. We get away from work to escape politics. But you guys are contributing to politic factors and getting the diving industry polluted!

A word of advise for all, PLEASE GROW UP!

Hong said...

First of all, the photos is from the blog and belong the the owner of the blog himself, so if you were to feel that all who contributed to the argument are at fault, i think you have made a wrong assumption.

Secondly, MOST of the reply here are just giving their own point of views, hence i don't see any politics involved. No names are mention here, other than myself and my 2 other fellow crews from IScuba, cos we want to make it clear and straight that we are NOT involve.

Lastly, i must say it AGAIN, please do not link IScuba with the owner of the blog. Owner of this blog is NOT a member of IScuba as well, and IScuba has NOTHING to do with this issue.

Hope you can understand what I am trying to say. =)


Anonymous said...

To all...

Don't you all feel a shame? Dive world is non political sports/ hobbies. You may keep all this nonsense back at your home country. No matter what? Operator or customer? you all are just a visitor to our home land water. So please welcome your self as a nature lover diver and keep your political issue at you home land.

Peace of advice... stay focus on your main reason started to dive.

Politics? competition who's the best? or love to see nature and learn what they may offer?

to all again... dive happily, dive peacefully and dive safely.

Malaysian Group of Divers

Anonymous said...

To All,

Laugh!I see that my comment to ask all to grow up really gets supported by malaysian group of divers. I do agree with them that you are not focus. You may have lost your initial reason for you to start diving and begin immersing in the warfare. Really sadden me to see fellow divers going for each other's throat. Not to mention that these are people include divemasters, instructors and dive operators. So UGLY!

You do not go around asking what others have to offer you. You should be asking yourself what you have to offer others and the world! So keep your politics in your office! I do know that some instructors' career is diving. However, is there a need to bring politic into diving when all your other customers is going diving after days/weeks/months of hard work?

Divemasters/operator can say they are not involved. Be it hearsay or malicious rumour, people will not simply get you involved in the warfare if you did not do it. Whatever it is, just like what the singapore government is promoting, KEEP SINGAPORE CLEAN!

Meame(forgotten to identify myself previously cause i thought i will not be able to find the page again)

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