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Holstered pistol, dinette chairs, fake Christmas tree: Just part of the haul from Newport's harbor cleanup

Holstered pistol, dinette chairs, fake Christmas tree: Just part of the haul from Newport's harbor cleanup
Divers Chris Madsen, left, and Craig Gelpi take to the water in Newport Harbor for the cleanup. (Daily Pilot)

An underwater cleanup of Newport Harbor this month yielded more than a half-ton of trash and other things that weren't supposed to be in the water — including a gun.

In addition to the typical beer cans, cups and food packaging that get tossed or fall in, divers pulled up a shopping cart, a bicycle, a plastic Christmas tree, a matching set of dinette chairs, dock ladders and an outboard motor, event organizer Mark Ward told the Newport Beach Harbor Commission on Wednesday.

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They also found a holstered pistol near a dock at the intersection of Newport Boulevard and West Coast Highway. Ward said he asked his gun-owning friends how many times they had dropped a gun. All but one said never.

"So we're guessing there's a 99% chance that gun was used in a crime" and dumped in the water, Ward said.

Divers left the weapon in place and called the Orange County Sheriff's Department to remove it and investigate its history.

The inaugural underwater cleanup, an expansion of the monthly Help Your Harbor surface cleanups, drew 221 volunteers, about half of them divers, and used 12 electric boats to remove about 1,100 pounds of trash from several points around the harbor.

Davis writes for Times Community News

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