Airmen divers clean Lake Motosu near Mt. Fuji
LAKE MOTOSU, Japan -- Seven Yokota Air Base Dive Club members and more than 100 other volunteers took part in a cleanup project at Lake Motosu, Japan, June 1, 2013.
The cleanup is an annual event at Motosuko aimed at removing debris and litter from the lake bottom.
"The cleanup helped out not only the community near Motosuko and the environment, it also gave us (dive club) an opportunity to practice our scuba skills and conduct an activity to retrieve things from the bottom of a lake," said Maj. John Chrampanis, Yokota Air Base Dive Club member. "It was an excellent opportunity for us to help out as well as gain some expertise."
Master Sgt. Joey Ayala, Yokota Air Base Dive Club president, said seeing the pile of trash at the end of the day made him feel wonderful.
"It was a good experience," Ayala said. "We had great camaraderie with our Japanese allies and fellow divers. I love to do these kinds of things and I'm glad we came out."
Chrampanis said he enjoyed searching the lake bottom and found items such as a woman's visor, bento boxes and various beverage cans.
"You could see just from the pure volume of debris that was collected that we made a pretty big impact for Motosuko's environment," the diver added.
The dive club had been established at Yokota since 1961 until recently, and with the help of Ayala and other dive enthusiasts, the club was reestablished in May, 2013.
Since being revitalized, the club has participated in two cleanup projects and has conducted multiple recreational dives.
Currently, the dive club is an unofficial private organization on base with 12 members. The club conducts two dives a month. According to Ayala, most dives are short and include a variety of types like boat and cave dives. He also said the club is currently in works with the Yokota Natatorium where he hopes to have a dive instructor teach those interested in diving who lack experience.
If interested in joining the scuba team, the club meetings are held the third Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Yujo Community Center.