Navy dive in to help out at swans' lake
ROYAL Navy divers have come to the aid of swans at Radford Lake after a plea from a resident bird lover.
Southern Dive Unit, based in Devonport, took a break from their day jobs to investigate problems with a raft for nesting birds at the lake in Plymstock.
The operation, used as a training exercise by the Royal Navy, was carried out in response to a request for help by Plymstock resident Gordon Miller.
Mr Miller, a member of the RSPB, became concerned when a nest containing eggs on the raft was flooded in April.
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He said: "I was very worried when the nesting site was drowned and the nest with eggs was washed off."
He said the eggs had been incubated for 34 days without hatching. "They had all been ruined by soaking up water. It was very sad for bird lovers like me. Other people have also taken the swans to their hearts."
He enlisted the help of the Royal Navy by appealing to Naval Base commander, Commodore Graeme Little, who Mr Miller thanked: "I am very grateful to Commodore Little and the divers. They have done a great job. And I will investigate the way forward with what the divers have now told me."
The team dived from an inflatable boat with a stand-by safety diver and shore staff.
Able Seaman Diver Stuart Farden said: "This was a small scale exercise, but one that was good for the community and gave me and the team good experience. It seems the raft might be water logged and need replacing or having added buoyancy."
Leading Diver Ade Morris was supervising. He said: "This was a great chance to meet the community needs, gain experience and directly train divers in command leadership and management experience. That is what the Navy is proud to do. I hope some good comes to the swans and the lake environment from this."