28 February 2022
Members of the St Helena Sea Rescue and St Helena Fire & Rescue teams, St Helena Government (SHG) Marine Section and the Portfolio Director of Safety, Security & Home Affairs, cleaned Sharks Valley Beach on Wednesday, 23 February 2022.
The initiative came about after one of the Sea Rescue team members visited Sharks Valley beach some months ago and saw the beach littered with all sorts of plastic items that had washed ashore.
Due to the remoteness of this area, the only possible way to extract anything was by sea, so the Sea Rescue Service decided to arrange a cleaning day to coincide with one of the training events that would take place in the area.
Cleaning of the beach was not something that could be achieved alone by the Sea Rescue team and help was requested from the St Helena Fire & Rescue Service and SHG Marine Section.
At 8am a mixed team of six from the departments met at The Flag, Levelwood, and walked down into Sharks Valley, arriving there at 9am, bagging up the plastics and other rubbish which took about two hours. At 11am the Sea Rescue Service vessels arrived in the area and extracted the bags of rubbish from Sharks Valley by using the same system used to extract a casualty from the shoreline. 26 bags of rubbish were extracted along with some larger items that could not be bagged up. Some of the items (mainly buoys) will be reused by the Sea Rescue Service for training and the remaining plastics will be disposed of at the Horse Point Landfill Site.
Sea Rescue Manager, Simon Wade, said:
“It was a great day (a bit hot walking back), a good bit of team bonding from the different services. Both Fire and Sea Rescue Services found it useful to work in the area, it gave insight to issues/limitations and challenges if we have a rescue operation from that area.”
Fire Fighter, Damien Stevens, added:
“A great team building day out of the office, getting familiar with the topography and terrain to the popular Sharks Valley Post Box Walk, along with a rewarding and satisfying beach clean-up before making the long trek back to The Flag. I speak for all involved when I say it felt good to be able to make a small environmental improvement for our Island and we’re all looking forward to the next clean-up project.”
Safety, Security & Home Affairs Portfolio Director, Alex Mitham, concluded:
“I would like to thank Simon Wade for organising the Sharks Valley clean-up. It was a privilege to witness Sea Rescue and the Fire & Rescue Service working in tandem on joint training, and importantly providing a vital community service in cleaning up the shoreline at Sharks Valley. Anyone who has visited that beach, or any other beach around St Helena will have seen all the plastic and rubbish which has washed ashore. It’s not only unsightly but a pollution risk to our marine and terrestrial habitats. Thank you to everyone involved, and I know more events are planned in the future.”
A big thank you goes out to the St Helena Fire & Rescue Service and SHG Marine Section for their support, and to Stevens Butchery and other members of the public who provided the bags to allow this event to take place.
#StHelena #SharksValley #BeachClean #AltogetherGreener
28 February 2022