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Throwback to our Beach Clean-up on Ile aux Bénitiers

Because protecting the ocean is one of our biggest concerns, the teams of Rogers Aviation, Islandian and Croisières Australes joined together on Wednesday 12th of June at the Morne Angers Club in Grande Rivière Noire. As part of the World Ocean Day, our teams participated in a beach clean-up at Ile aux Bénitiers, on the West Coast of Mauritius between 10 am and 3pm.

Around thirty participants boarded the Harris Wilson II catamaran, all excited to fulfil a new mission at the beach of Ile aux Bénitiers. After the success of Harris Wilson I, Croisières Australes decided to purchase a second catamaran, the Harris Wilson II in 2003. This 18 m racing catamaran was built by Marc Pinta at La Rochelle in France for the structural part and at GRNW Boat Yard for the development.

To reinforce the spirit of solidarity, each participant received a T-shirt with the powerful message "Make EVERY day WORLD OCEAN DAY" and a pink visor cap, specially designed for the event. The fresh wind and the local music playing in the background created a relaxing atmosphere.

During the cruise, our eyes were focused on the magnificent landscapes that paraded by. A few steps from the beach, as the tide was low, our catamaran docked to let us take a seat on the Islandian speed-boat and to continue our journey to Ile aux Bénitiers. This inhabited island of 500 hectares, which was formed by a coral reef, lures many tourists every year. Once ashore, our participants divided in three teams, more motivated than ever, began to clean the beach with pink gloves and large bin bags. The sun was shining bright while we were collecting waste on the beach of Ile aux Bénitiers for nearly two hours. Unfortunately and sadly, cans, cutlery, soft drink and water bottles, straws and plastic caps are thrown on the beach by carefree people. The fastest team received eco-friendly bags as a reward. The locals who were also present there helped us to put the waste in the boat and then brought it straight towards the Morne Anglers Club.

It is important to note that sea and beach pollution is a recurrent phenomenon in Mauritius. Waste of human origin that are washed up or left on the beach can generate aesthetic (landscape) and health (toxic or dangerous waste) nuisances. In order to maintain the attractiveness of our coastline and surrounding islands, each of us needs to take care of our heritage; because we should not forget that our beaches are tourist areas, but also fragile environments facing coastal erosion and sea-level rise.

After the effort comes comfort! At 1:30 pm, our participants boarded the Harris Wilson II to enjoy a delicious meal together before starting our way back towards the Morne Anglers Club. When we reached there, a huge truck was already waiting for us to pick-up the collected waste. To end this day in style, we proudly gathered in front of the vehicle to take pictures as a souvenir.

After such a successful mission, our teams who have collected 500 kg of garbage are looking forward to renewing this experience to show our commitment to the environment.