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The HMS Perseus before and after clean up operation
The HMS Perseus before and after clean up operation   -   Copyright  Cor Kuyvenhoven/Ghost Diving

Divers clean 'ghost nets' off old WWII submarine in attempt to save marine life

A group of divers have removed the "ghost nets" that were covering a British submarine in the Ionian Sea off Greece in an attempt to save the marine wildlife that frequent it.

The HMS Perseus, lost during WWII, lies at a depth of 52 metres between the islands of Kefalonia and Zakynthos.

At least 650,000 marine animals die each year by getting trapped in lost fishing gear, which often snags on shipwrecks and reefs.

These so-called “ghost nets” create deadly traps for sea turtles, dolphins, seals and also fish, which cannot free themselves.

Normally hotspots for biodiversity that provide food and shelter to marine life, the wrecks and reefs become dangerous because of the nets.

Giorgos Kolikis/Ghost Diving
British submarine HMS Perseus before the removal of the fishing gear that was covering the submarineGiorgos Kolikis/Ghost Diving
Giorgos Kolikis/Ghost Diving
Volunteer divers on a mission to remove the fishing gear covering British submarine HMS PerseusGiorgos Kolikis/Ghost Diving

Drag the slider across the image below to see photographs taken at the beginning and in the final stages of the cleanup operation.

HMS Perseus before and after the cleanup operation. Source: Cor Kuyvenhoven/Ghost Diving

The six-person team performed three dives on the HMS Perseus, each lasting just over one hour.

After its first "survey dive", the team decided to focus on the vessel's conning tower and the front outer hull of the submarine.

In the following sessions, they almost completely freed the conning tower of fishing nets and the wreck’s original structure has been unveiled.

Cor Kuyvenhoven/Ghost Diving
Volunteer divers on a mission to remove the fishing gear covering British submarine HMS PerseusCor Kuyvenhoven/Ghost Diving
Cor Kuyvenhoven/Ghost Divers
Volunteer diver on a mission to remove the fishing gear covering British submarine HMS PerseusCor Kuyvenhoven/Ghost Divers
Cor Kuyvenhoven/ Ghost Diving
Volunteer divers on a mission to remove the fishing gear covering British submarine HMS PerseusCor Kuyvenhoven/ Ghost Diving
Konstantina Kostoula/Healthy Seas
Volunteer divers on a mission to remove the fishing gear covering British submarine HMS PerseusKonstantina Kostoula/Healthy Seas