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Divers remove half-ton worth of trash from Lake Murray

The divers pulled around 950 pounds of trash and discarded items from the lake.

LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. — A mission to keep Lake Murray clean moved underwater Saturday morning. 

Thirty divers gathered at Putnam's Landing to swim to the bottom of the lake to pick up trash 

The volunteers who attended spent an hour strapping on their equipment, checking air tanks, and putting on their scuba suits. Then they jumped into the water to find any trash they could dig up. 

This is their first time for the group at Putnam's Landing after spending previous years at other locations on the lake. 

It all started five years ago. Gayle Turney, the organizer, and Serena Ogburn, the owner of Wateree Dive Center, said the effort to clean up and gather divers has grown over the last few years. 

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"We had the plan to see if we could clean the lake. The original plan was to see if we could get 40 pounds in the first year," Turney said. "Well, we ended up getting 300 pounds and it took off from there." 

Items that the divers brought up included bottles, cups, fishing poles, bowling balls, and even a television. 

Credit: Walker Lawson

"It's good to see how much we can get out, but it's so disheartening to see what's down there," Turney added. 

Rachel Nichols is one of the divers who came out and says she loves it. 

"We love to dive and it's a great community and it's really a fun time, and pulling out the trash is fun," she said.

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Turney hopes more people will want to get involved and help clean their environment. 

"This is the best playground there is. This is the best playground ever; so, we can keep it clean so everyone can enjoy it," Turney said. 

In total, 950 pounds of trash were pulled from the depths. 

Turney said Keeping the Midlands Beautiful helped Saturday's event come together.

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