A bottle with messages in it was one of the stranger items personnel from HMAS Watson found when they took part in Clean-Up Australia Day on March 5.

Personnel volunteered their time to collect rubbish from the local area as part of the 30th annual event.

The messages in a bottle had been thrown into Sydney Harbour three days before the clean-up.

One of the messages had the bottle owner’s mobile phone number on it, and they got quite the surprise when they received a selfie from the Watson clean-up crew. 

The clean-up event looked a little different this year – and not just because New South Wales Government COVID-19 guidelines were being adhered to.

The team from Watson partnered with Parks NSW, Lend Lease and Vaucluse Cottage Active Kids Group and collected about 15 bags of rubbish from South Head in Sydney.

The volunteers focused their clean-up efforts around Camp Cove, The Gap, Robertsons Park, Sydney Heads Heritage Trail, and Parsley Bay Reserve.

Executive Officer Watson Commander Tina Brown said she was proud of her team’s contribution.

“Our combined Clean-Up Australia Day contribution was a fun way of getting out into our community, while making an impact that improves our local environment,” Commander Brown said.

“Everyone says an XO’s (Executive Officer’s) job is parks and gardens, and today I was championing just that, although I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many smiles during cleaning stations as I saw today.”

Watson was commissioned on March 14, 1945, and is the Navy's premier maritime warfare training establishment.

Watson is undergoing a $389m redevelopment, which is due to be completed in 2027.

Sub-Lieutenant Shi Shen, left, Midshipman Michael Tran, Able Seaman Danielle Carter and Seaman Karla Parker from HMAS Watson participate in the Clean-Up Australia Day event in Sydney. Photo: Able Seaman Benjamin Ricketts