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'A visionary with an infectious enthusiasm for life'

Bermuda Sun

9/28/2012 8:00:00 AM
Simon Jones

FRIDAY, SEPT. 28: Tributes from Tim Hasselbring’s close friends and colleagues have poured in from across the island in the wake of his death.

The devoted father and family man succumbed to cancer at the weekend at the age of just 38.

But those who worked with him told the Sun they were determined to see through his environmental vision for the island’s future in his memory.

BS_120928_2a.jpg
Tim Hasselbring worked at Dolphin Quest
for several years after university.

*Photo supplied

Mr Hasselbring and his good friend Jeff Manson helped to start up the Bermuda Shark Project, which has gone on to provide pioneering data about the movements of Tiger Sharks across the Atlantic.

And they also founded the renewable energy firm, Triton, which recently embarked on a major project to see how wave power could be harnessed in Bermuda.

The pair met in 1997 when they worked as divers for Mackie Marine Ltd, and went on to become great pals.

Mr Manson described his friend as a ‘visionary’ with an infectious enthusiasm for life. He said: “Tim had an unfaltering commitment to and appreciation for the natural environment, especially the sea. His insatiable appetite for intellectual curiosity drew him to marine conservation and later to become a founder of the Bermuda Shark Project and Bermuda Wave Energy Project— local projects related to conservation and renewable energy.

“He was a man of outstanding character and integrity with boundless energy and enthusiasm for life, family and Bermuda.

“He will be sadly missed by me, friends, family and the many people who were fortunate to know him.”

Annie Glasspool. Triton’s director of operations, added: “We are more determined now to make sure Tim’s vision for Bermuda becomes a reality.

“He embraced life with a vitality that I have never encountered before. He was innovative, creative and wonderfully big hearted.”

Four years ago Mr Hasselbring joined the Aquarium as the captain of their educational boat, and took hundreds of school children on tours of different parts of the island.

Principal curator, Dr Ian Walker, told the Sun: “Tim was fabulous with the kids.

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As captain of the Aquarium's boat
he taught children to learn sailing sills.

*Photo supplied

“He just had a great way with them; a positivity that was infectious on everyone around him.

“And no one knew the island better than Tim.

“He knew exactly where to take the kids whatever the weather and sea conditions whether it was to see turtles in Bailey’s Bay, head out to North Rock or visit Nonsuch Island.

“He was not only an incredibly good and professional captain he was a real team player.

“He didn’t just see the glass as half full, he saw it as full. I find myself thinking now, ‘how would Tim deal with this?

“He had that natural ability to engage people and get them excited about our environment.”

Jack Ward, the Aquarium’s former director, added: “Tim was always positive and always helpful. He would give you the shirt off his back and he was wise beyond his age.

“He touched so many people in such a short space of time in Bermuda.”

Neil Burnie, who now runs the Bermuda Shark Project with Choy Aming, told the Sun: “His enthusiasm for life and the environment was just infectious.

“And that will be his lasting legacy. He and I would have great times out fishing on the boat and singing Sinatra.

“His drive for conservation and making Bermuda a better place was just incredible.”