Okanagan scuba diver removing trash from Okanagan Lake bottom | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan scuba diver removing trash from Okanagan Lake bottom

Ajay Weintz while scuba diving.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Ajay Weintz
March 26, 2021 - 8:45 AM

An avid Lake Country diver brings a bag with him to collect trash every time he sinks beneath the waves.

Ajay Weintz got his diving certification seven months ago and since then he’s been picking up garbage in Okanagan Lake, Kalamalka Lake and more.

“I started cleaning up trash basically the first time I dove in Okanagan Lake. I watched a YouTuber called Jake Koehler... and he always carried a bag with him that he could fill with trash so I started bringing my bag with me on my dive while I was still being trained,” he said.

When he got his diver’s certification, he bought himself a GoPro and started uploading his dives on YouTube calling himself Mind Over Matter Diving.

With his group of Okanagan scuba divers, “we pick up as much trash as we can find on our journey,” he said. He's found bottles at the bottom of the lake from as far back as the 1930s, he said.

In the last three dives, he and his diving group have removed roughly 50 pounds of trash from Okanagan Lake near the bridge. Weintz noted Kalamalka Lake is just as bad.

“There’s a lot of garbage down there,” he said.

Weintz’s biggest find was an Apple watch in 2019 in Hawaii at the bottom of a cliff jump and he tried to no avail to locate the owner, he said. It became unlocked about four months ago and the information was erased, “so now it sits on my wrist as my prize,” he said.

He’s dived in Kalamalka Lake, Pavilion Lake, Johnson Lake, Adams Lake and Okanagan Lake.

His favourite lake is Johnson Lake as "it’s like diving in air, you can see kilometres ahead of you,” he said.

He’d love to go swimming with sharks and diving in Maui once tourism opens up again after the pandemic.

“When I was younger I wanted to be a marine biologist but we never lived close to the ocean,” he said.

You can follow Weintz's underwater adventures on YouTube.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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