Campbell River Arts Council Executive Director Ken Blackburn was one of a dozen or so divers who took part in the McIvor Lake cleanup day put on by the Campbell River Tide Rippers dive club Oct. 4. Photo courtesy Campbell River Tide Rippers

Campbell River Arts Council Executive Director Ken Blackburn was one of a dozen or so divers who took part in the McIvor Lake cleanup day put on by the Campbell River Tide Rippers dive club Oct. 4. Photo courtesy Campbell River Tide Rippers

Campbell River dive club takes 200kg of trash out of McIvor Lake

‘Sometimes we come across things that make you wonder what people were thinking’

McIvor Lake is a whole lot cleaner than it was a couple weeks ago thanks to a few local divers.

The Campbell River Tide Rippers dive club only spent about three hours in the lake on Oct. 4, but in that time they managed to take about 200 kg of garbage off the bottom.

According to organizer Roger McDonell, our region’s saltwater “is 100 per cent the best coldwater diving in the world,” but the group also uses the local lakes for training exercises, so they thought they should spend some time making them a little bit better, too.

“We’re in the lake diving during the summer months and we see what’s going on down there,” McDonell says. “And like everyone, when you see garbage somewhere, you want to pick it up, right?”

RELATED: Tube Shack’s annual clean-up shows how far Cowichan River has come

RELATED: Inside a mission to scrub our wild beaches

So they put out a call to their members to join them on a scheduled Sunday in October, and did just that.

“We took 200 kg of garbage off the bottom of the lake, a lot of which was around the beach area,” McDonell says. “It was mostly the typical stuff you’d expect to see: cans and bottles, mainly. But sometimes we come across things that make you wonder what people were thinking. We found a ziploc bag that’s full, and you pick it up and find out that someone had filled it with sand and dropped it to the bottom of the lake. That’s not accidental, and it just makes you shake your head.”

They also find a lot of golf balls.

“People head up there and see how far they can hit them out into the lake,” McDonell says. “That’s the thing with some people. When things are out of sight, they somehow think they’re gone or something. That’s not the best thing for the marine life that’s down there.”

They’d like to make events like this a more regular thing, but McDonell and his business partner Greg Baldock took over Beaver Aquatics – now called OceanFix Ventures – two years ago, and it took some time to get their flippers under them, so to speak, so the cleanup events kind of kept getting pushed aside.

“We’ve done it a few times, but we haven’t done it for a couple of years,” he says. “We’d like to make it an annual thing if we could, because it’s certainly needed.”

And if you’ve never heard of the Campbell River Tide Rippers, you’re not alone. McDonell says despite the club being one of the oldest diving organizations in B.C., they’re kind of a hidden gem.

“They’ve been around as a loose-knit organization of divers since I don’t even know when,” McDonell says. “When I came here in 1978 they’d already been around for a while and going strong. But we’re not a really high-profile club. It’s like the tide. It ebbs and fades. Right now it’s basically an email list of people who get together once in a while on weekends and go for a dive.”

If you’re interested in what the club is doing or want to get involved, you can contact them at the dive shop down on Maple Street, give them a call at 250-287-7652 or email

“It’s not tied to the shop,” McDonnell says, “so if people feel allegiances to one shop or whatever, it’s no problem at all. We take the lead in organizing the club, I guess, but it’s not about the store. It’s just about getting together and enjoying our waters as often as we can.”

You can also find them on Facebook at

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


Just Posted

West Shore RCMP pulled over a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee on Nov. 23 after noting that it didn’t appear safe for the road. (West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP pull over vehicle held together by tape and cargo strap

RCMP deemed the vehicle unsafe for the road and had it towed away

Picture of two swans leaving the Cowichan estuary moments before one was shot out of the sky. (Submitted photo)
Petition to stop hunting in Cowichan estuary after swan shot

Hunting allowed in area, some seeking to change that after ‘act of sickening, malicious destruction’

Over 6,000 customers were affected by the power outage that started on Nov. 17. (BC Hydro photo)
BC Hydro crews worked 16 hour days to turn the North Island’s power back on

BC Hydro runs one transmission line to Northern Vancouver Island so there was no backup line.

Gordon Viberg was the fifth person to be diagnosed with COVID-19 at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. (Provided by the Victoria Hospitals Foundation)
Islander awakens from the ordeal of COVID-19

Gordon Viberg, Royal Jubilee’s ‘patient 5’ recalls being so weak he couldn’t get out of bed

Artist Daniel Cline discusses his sculpture, Harmony Humpbacks, during the June 20 walking tour of Oak Bay’s 2019 ArtsAlive sculptures. Harmony Humpbacks was purchased by Oak Bay as the 2019 people’s choice winner and is permanently installed at the Beach Drive entrance to Willows Park. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Influx of donated art a ‘fantastic problem to have,’ says Oak Bay mayor

Oak Bay goes from zero to 10 permanent art pieces since 2015

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Bystanders attend to a cyclist who is knocked to the pavement of Oak Bay Avenue. Witnesses say the cyclist was knocked off their bike in a dooring incident on Oak Bay Avenue at Fell Street at around 12:40 p.m. on Wednesday. 
(Daniel Opden Dries Photo)
VicPD tickets driver for ‘dooring’ cyclist on Oak Bay Avenue

Incident occurred at Oak Bay Avenue and Fell Street

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

A Nanaimo driver was sentenced Monday for fatally striking a high school student with his vehicle in 2019. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo driver sentenced after motor vehicle incident that killed teen last year

Brandon Geoffrey Murdoch fined and prohibited from driving for two years

Two of the weapons seized in a Nov. 8 traffic stop in Black Creek. Photo supplied by RCMP
RCMP seize guns, drugs in Black Creek traffic stop

Two arrested in connection with incident

An excavator was stolen from a rural property south of Nanaimo this month, say police. (Photos submitted)
Excavator stolen from property in Nanaimo’s Extension area

Bobcat Mini believed to have been stolen between Nov. 12-14

Kwalikum Secondary School. (SD69 photo)
Schools superintendent says protocols don’t change after COVID-19 exposure at Qualicum Beach high school

Elder: ‘We were assured by the Health Authority that the school is safe’

Most Read