Cleaning marine litter from Helensburgh and Lomond's beaches has been in the headlines a lot recently – but as our latest story from the Advertiser's archives shows, beach cleans in the area aren't new.

Here's how we reported on one particularly tough job for Garelochhead's beach cleaners in the Advertiser on September 3, 2009...

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THE team who took part in the first beach clean at Garelochhead since it was ‘adopted’ last week had a tough start - as they salvaged remains from a sunken Thames barge.

The uninhabited 100-year-old barge, which had been turned into a houseboat – thought to be owned by George McDonald, who now lives in France –– sank 18 metres into the waters of the Gareloch.

The MoD put a wreck buoy in place to warn other boat owners of the remains.

READ MORE: Life's a beach for Helensburgh youth forum members – despite the weather

Resident Karen Gold, who works in the base, said how she saw the cabin from the vessel floating along the water when she glanced out of her kitchen window.

She said: “The first signs of anything being wrong were on Tuesday morning, when we noticed that the boat was listing heavily to one side.”

Karen said the barge started to go down at 4.30pm the same day.

“It was making all sorts of popping and banging noises, and as the boat broke up debris started floating to the surface.

“I couldn’t quite see the wreckage from my house, but at 6pm I was in the kitchen when I looked out of the window and noticed the cabin bobbing along in the water.”

READ MORE: In Pictures: Garelochhead residents team up to tackle beach litter

Large timber sheets were broken up as part of the beach clean on Tuesday, which more than 400 turned up for – despite only being organised within the space of a week.

Roberta McLaren from the Glasgow College of Nautical Studies helped to organise the event, encouraged by the Adopt-a-Beach initiative.

Councillor George Freeman said he was shocked but delighted when he turned up to see so many coachloads of volunteers.

“Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves," he added.