On Sunday 10 March 2019 an Ethiopian Airlines flight departed from Addis Ababa, bound for Nairobi. The 4-month-old Boeing 737-8 MAX plane crashed six minutes after take off at 08.44 local time. A spokesperson for the airline has confirmed that all 157 people on board had died.
A number of heartfelt tributes from the likes of the Ashmolean Museum, AP Diving, British School at Rome, Fourth Element, GGGI Initiative, GUE, IKUWA7, Project AWARE, World Animal Protection UK were made on social media, confirming that two highly respected ocean advocates had been on the plane.
Joanna (Jo) Toole
Joanna Toole, a British citizen, was travelling to Nairobi to represent the Food and Agriculture Organisation at the UN Environment Assembly. She was on her way to Kenya to conduct a workshop with Kenyan fisherman on the marking of fishing nets as a method of reducing marine debris.
"We have worked with Joanna since 2014 on lost fishing gear prevention and removal in the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI). (Jo was instrumental in setting up the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI)).
She was a super, talented marine conservation and animal welfare consultant. These days she has been working for the United Nations fisheries and aquaculture department. The world’s oceans become less cleaner and healthy with the tragic loss of our beloved Joanne".
Pascal van Erp, Founder and CEO of Ghost Fishing
A passionate environmentalist since childhood. Joanna's work was not a job - it was her vocation
Dr Sebastiano Tusa
Sebastiano was an internationally renowned professor of marine archaeology and President of the International Academy of Underwater Sciences and Techniques. He lectured at a number of Italian universities including Bologna, Napoli and Marburg in Germany. He was also the Superintendent of the Sea of the Sicilian Region, and he too was travelling to attend the UN Environment Assembly meeting.
In 2004 Sebastiano was awarded the Gold Trident. This award is unofficially referred to as 'the Nobel of the sea' and is conferred on all those who value the sea and its resources. Previous awardees include Jacques-Ives Cousteau, Enzo Majorca, Jacques Majol and the astronaut and sub Scott Carpenter. Just over a week ago Tusa presented Martin Parker of AP Diving with the Golden Trident.
"Sebastian was a remarkable individual, a tireless advocate for the underwater world and a deeply valued collaborator over many years. His incredible passion and kind disposition were an inspiration to me personally and to many GUE divers and research archaeologists around the world".
Jarrod Jablonski, Global Underwater Explorers
A tireless worker, an alderman of great capacity and balance. An unforgettable protagonist of the best cultural policies of Sicily