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Diving buddies Alistair Child (right) and Jim Sheard pause for a breather on two chairs hauled from the depths of Lake Wakatipu last Saturday.

The pair were part of a 32-strong dive team and 51 foreshore cleaners pulling out dumped items like a shopping trolley and what’s thought to be part of a former Winter Festival birdman costume.

Child and Sheard collected the most rubbish during the day, contributing to the first Splash for Trash clean-up’s total haul of 783kg.

Organiser Steve Traynor says junk was collected from the shoreline at Queenstown Bay to a distance of 20m offshore.

Other items included a double mattress, 212 plastic bags, 385 glass bottles, 13 tyres and thousands of cigarette butts.

“Events like this are designed to make people aware that rubbish they drop on to the beach or their cigarette butt they put somewhere eventually ends up in the lake and it all just sits there,” he says.

“When you look at the lake you think it’s absolutely beautiful but all these things just lurk underneath.”