The ship’s company of HMAS Cairns have taken to the water in a less typical fashion recently, getting out in kayaks to contribute to cleaning up local waterways.
The Great Northern Clean Up takes place just before the Tropical North wet season and after the tourist season, to help prevent rubbish being swept into the water, as part of the Clean Up Australia campaign.
Since the campaign started in 2009, a total of 26,398 volunteers have removed around 1,584 tonnes of rubbish from 717 sites north of the Tropic of Capricorn. The crew from Cairns joined the effort this year by undertaking a kayaking expedition in Trinity Inlet on 22 September.
Lieutenant Commander Matthew Richardson, base Executive Officer and a team of 14 personnel set off from the Cairns boat ramp and paddled more than five kilometres of shoreline and collected eight bags of rubbish from areas only accessible from the water.
"A great deal of plastic was collected, along with a substantial amount of fishing tackle," Lieutenant Commander Richardson said.
The kayakers received very positive feedback from the general public and there was even some public participation from the shoreline.
“It’s fantastic to see the Navy paddling around Trinity Inlet gathering rubbish,” said one lady as she passed by the group.
Navy has a strong commitment to minimising the impact on the environment in which it operates, both at sea and ashore.
Keeping fit and healthy never looked so helpful!