Diver to clean up Budleigh Salterton sea bed

The sea bed at Budleigh Salterton is to undergo a clean up thanks to Paul Baker’s one-man mission to rid the water of rubbish

Paul Baker, NHS Devon’s head of primary care, has become so concerned about finding empty cans, packets and fishing nets when swimming under the sea he is preparing to set out on a one-man mission to clean up the county’s tourist hot spots.

Mr Baker is preparing to pull on his scuba gear and take time out from his holidays taking part in a number of dives throughout the county, including Budleigh, collecting rubbish from the sea bed.

He said: “Much of this litter ends up in the sea and quite often, what’s out of sight is out of mind.

“People tend to think of discarded fishing lines or nets from trawlers as being the big problem, but within a couple of hundred metres of the shore the vast majority of discarded items you come across are bottles, cans, and food packaging.

“The amount of sea life that suffers a slow death having either eaten or got trapped in this stuff is much higher than you’d think.

“Most of the collection dives we do are really short because you fill the bags so quickly.

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“As a tourist destination Devon sees an increase in holidaymakers in the summer - and unfortunately litter too.”