Between 12.00 on Friday 22 February and 12.00 on Saturday 23 February, 60 divers took part in UCT’s Underwater Club continuous 24-hour diving marathon to raise awareness for marine conservation in the False Bay area.
The divers were split into buddy teams and each given an hour slot underwater where they were asked to complete various tasks.
Using the multitude of props left at the bottom of the pool and an underwater camera, the divers were challenged to compete against each other by taking pictures of the ‘best bottom at the bottom’, ‘impersonation of King Kong and Fay Wray’, and to create a short stop motion animation film using the available props.
Next was a game of inside-out fishing! A shoal of magnetic fish lined the outer edge of the pool and divers were ecouraged to catch as many as possible using magnetised fishing rods while remaining underwater. Spectators watched and laughed as various lengths of fishing rods emerged from the depths of the swimming pool in an effort to catch the fish.
The last task was the SASSI sustainable memory challenge. A large laminated poster of SASSI’s green, orange and red listed fish was mounted underwater and buddy pairs competed against each other to remember the most fish in their correct categories. 42 was the winning number!
Charlotte Scott, organiser of the Underwater Club, says “I am proud to say that the UCT pool saw a fun-filled 24 hours of cake-eating, coffee-drinking, wrapped-in-sleeping bags, pink-lumo-wig-wearing, bum-flashing, gangnam styling, leopard-print-covered students”.
Each participant received a goodie bag filled with a UCT Underwater Club t-shirt, pens and badges from WWF-SASSI, and Save Our Seas ‘Into The Blue’ coffee table book, wristbands and stickers. Prizes for the winning buddie teams across the various challenges included calendars and aprons from WWF-SASSI; t-shirts and subscriptions from Divesite magazine; and t-shirts, caps and 2013 shark calendars from the Save Our Seas Shark Centre. Tribe Coffee kept the divers going with 5kgs of coffee and a filter coffee machine to use during the event.
The proceeds of the event will be donated to the Save Our Seas Shark Centre in Kalk Bay.
The UCT Underwater Club gives a special thanks to the sponsors, The Save Our Seas Shark Centre, The Divesite, WWF-SASSI and Tribe Coffee, and to the 10 divers from the False Bay Underwater Club for being a part of this intiative.