A murky morning on Saturday 28th September saw a team of some 35 volunteers assemble at Island Harbour Marina to pick up litter along the East bank of the River Medina.  The venture was organised by the Isle of Wight Unit.

Help came not only from MVS members but also from members of other organisations based on the river, notably Island Harbour Yacht Club and the Medina Mariners Association, Cowes Sailability, East Cowes Sailing Club, Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club and members of the Island Harbour staff (including the Harbour Master) were in the group. Teams working in pairs were dispatched to various parts of the riverbank, stretching from just south of the Folly Inn to Newport Quay. Volunteers were equipped with rubbish bags and litter grabs that were kindly supplied by the local branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, a number of litter grabs were loaned by IHYC with a good supply of strong bin bags from the Isle of Wight Council. Some volunteers brought along wheelbarrows and trolleys to help transport bags back to Island Harbour but most rubbish collected was transferred to the MVS flood response boat, crewed by Dave Dobson and Ivan Jones, for ferrying back to the collection point. A member of Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club kindly provided supplementary floating support in his RIB with a member from East Cowes Sailing Club in his inflatable dinghy. All three boats ferried sacks of rubbish back to the pontoon at Island Harbour to add to the rapidly growing pile.

Around 50 bags of rubbish were collected, as well as an assortment of larger items such as tyres and crates. The usual suspects – drinks bottles and cans, sweet and crisp wrappings etc made up the bulk of items but rucksacks, shoes and even a Star Wars light sabre were amongst some of the other items collected. One or two of the collectors were surprised to find some debris of drug taking too. Everyone involved was pleased with his or her efforts.  

AVO (South) Lynn Peppitt was very pleased that the event had achieved such success: “This was a really good example of local maritime organisations working together to make a difference.  The Medina is a lovely river for the most part and it deserves to be looked after properly.  We plan to repeat the exercise on a regular basis, although we would much prefer it if we didn’t have to!”