From an eighteenth century bottle and a motorbike, to safes, a drone and an iPhone, it has been a year of discovery for a family of divers.
Warren Palmer, 45, his wife Michelle, 44, and his stepson Anthony Hanstock, 25, set up Underwater Hunters last year to combine their love of scuba diving while helping protect the environment.
The professionally-trained divers take to lakes, rivers and canals to clear the waterways of rubbish and waste, after gaining relevant permission from the authority – and they do it all for free.
Discoveries from the past year have varied, including dead animals and a pop-up tent.
Recent dives have seen them in the lake of the former American Adventure theme park and also the lake at a new watersports park in Long Eaton, where they most recently helped recover a £700 drone and an iPhone that was still working.
“We’ve seen all sorts,” said Mr Palmer, of Long Eaton.
“Everywhere we’ve dived we’ve found golf balls and we could be nowhere near a course.
“My favourite place to dive is up in the Lake District. The water is crystal clear and you’re surrounded by salmon.
“We’ve recently upgraded our equipment so we have two breathing cylinders each now so we can spend longer in the water finding more stuff.
“We found an eighteenth century bottle once and valued similar ones online which were going for around £700.”
Mr Palmer and his stepson try to get into the water once a week, and have covered lakes and rivers across the UK including the Lake District, Church Wilne Water Sports Club in Draycott and the Erewash Canal.
Mr Palmer first learnt how to scuba dive while he was living in Greece and then gained further qualifications while living in Bulgaria.
Coming back to the UK, he married his wife Michelle and together with stepson Anthony they followed in his footsteps and learnt to dive at the Alternative Dive Club, in Long Eaton.
Heading into 2020, the family have aspirations of being on television and want to get their own show.
They are also looking for sponsorship from companies.
Mr Palmer said: “We just want to do more and more so we can get out there and clean more rivers and lakes. I could spend all day, every day diving, I just love it.”
Mrs Palmer runs a mobile food and drink business, Palmer’s Diner, for a living and the family will be given out free food from their Long Eaton base in Thrumpton Avenue on Christmas Day.
Anyone is welcomed on the day, particularly people who are homeless or who are feeling lonely.
Food, hot drinks and Christmas presents will be given out between 10.30am and 3.30pm.
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