21 Dec 2020

Recovering E-Scooters with Diver Propulsion Vehicles in New Zealand

We saw 2020 racing to close - so we decided to finish 2020 with a grand finale. We have been working with local e-scooter companies since before the Covid-19 lock down in New Zealand. Until this point, we had recovered 43 e-scooters in Wellington alone. These scooters, when thrown into water, give off what we call a 'death signal'. A 'death signal' is literally its last resting place before they disappear under the waves. So the scooter companies supply us with its last known GPS location for us to dive.

Armed with those GPS points, I made an audacious plan which was to cover 3373 meters - basically entire inner harbor of Wellington. So two teams start at opposite ends with the plan of meeting in the middle alongside our diligent shore teams. This plan involved cooperating with local businesses and the harbor teams in order to cover such a long distance. Although it was a darling plan, both DPV (Diver Propulsion Vehicle) teams and shore teams worked flawlessly together to succeed in the recovery of an incredible 12 scooters in a few hours. Systematically, hitting one target after the other we sent the scooters to the surface from the seabed, up to the shore crews to be hauled out.

We also removed on the way a few targets of opportunity - street cones, rental bike, kettle, two shopping trolleys etc.

This amazing success is the result of good communication, great planning and excellent team work. It's a perfect example of our DPV capabilities and an accumulation of shore-based techniques from lessons learned over many years. As we look towards 2021, we will continue to hold high the banner of ocean conservation and fight for the betterment of our marine environment.

Rob Wilson | Ghost Diving New Zealand

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