The Suncoast Reef Rovers Scuba Diving Club is used to recovering household items that end up in the Gulf waters, like sinks, toilets, fishing gear and nets. Even small inflatable dingys. But this year’s unique find was a sign of the times — a drone.

Venetian Bill Willson, a former City Council Member and current Planning Commission Member, started the club but no longer dives, hanging up his fins for a golf club. But he still likes to participate in the annual cleanup of the jetties and Municipal Fishing Pier.

Divers brought up all sorts of discarded materials Aug. 19, well before Hurricane Dorian. Save Our Bays volunteers measured, weighed and cataloged everything before it was taken to the dump, helping track progress in cleaning up the bays.

Members of Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit and Venice Police Department Marine Patrol assisted the Suncoast Reef Rovers Scuba Diving Club with their cleanup effort.

Willson was there onshore when the drone was brought up.

“The conditions were really rough,” he said. “Divers said visibility was about 10 inches, creating disorientation in some of them, so I don’t think the quantity of discarded items was a much as usual. The drone was the most unique item.”

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