Friday 17 June 2011

A great man. A crazy guy. Laurenz Ewald 1965 - 2011

We did not know Laurenz Ewald. Yet there is something which unites us. It is the love for the ocean, for its maritime wildlife and the passion for watersport. It is the absolute certainty that being out in the nature man discovers the purest joy of life. And the consciousness of an inevitable finiteness we all have to face.

At the age of 45 Laurenz died all of a sudden in his hometown Cologne in Germany.
Shortly after his elder brother Kirk wrote us an e-mail, confiding himself to us. He told us about his brother that Laurenz has been to the Canarias and especially to Fuerteventura several times and that he fell in love with the island. During his stay with his friends he recognized the work of the Clean Ocean Project and since then he followed our activities with great interest.
We than talked to Kirk on the phone and finally met him in Hamburg. He told us, what kind of a guy his brother was.

Laurenz started windsurfing at the age of 19. Living in Cologne, the not far away beaches and waves of the Netherland became his playground. He would spend all the time he could spare – and for sure all the money – to go with his friends for a session of surf at his home spot in Brouwersdam.  

Over the years he travelled a lot. At the Costa Brava in Spain he worked as a windsurf instructor. On one of his trips to Fuerteventura he and his friends saved a sea turtle which has been strapped in trash and ropes. An experience he never not forgot.
He was a crazy guy. Or should we say, he was just addicted to the ocean. He worked as a banker, but in his heart he still was a kid somehow. When ever he had the time he swopped the business suit with the wetsuit and went surfing with his friends. Always with him, his trusty companion, his favourite, holey and washed-out T-Shirt with the Clean Ocean Project logo.

As you can imagine Laurenz was that type of guy who would not like the idea of a sad and quiet funeral. He once said that his funeral should be a day where all of his family and friends come together and celebrate. His wish came true. More than 250 people came to his funeral and afterwards nearly 300 people met at his favourite bar „Ubier Schänke“ in Cologne. Yes, Laurenz would have smiled, maybe expressing his feelings in just one word: „Großartig!“
Instead of flowers and wreaths Laurenz’s wish was to donate money to an environmental organisation. So the idea was born to donate to the Clean Ocean Project.
Due to Kirk’s immense effort and the open hearts of his family and friends the unbelievable amount of 3.490,50 ,- Euro has been collected in the past weeks. We want to spend the money on a special project which would have been in the spirit of Laurenz. As soon as we know what we will do, we will review it with Kirk. And of course, we will keep all of the contributors informed of the further steps.

We at the Clean Ocean Project are overwhelmed and deeply touched. Yes, we are thankful and happy that due to the huge donation we can realize a new project on Fuerteventura. Yet it feels surreal, losing a like-minded friend we never had the chance to meet.
We would like to thank Kirk for his kindness and for his trust in us. And we want to thank all of Laurenz’s family and friends for their contribution. Our thoughts are with them and we would like to use this moment to express our deepest condolences. Our respect and our thoughts are with Laurenz.