Exmouth air crash victim’s family collect posthumous degree
PUBLISHED: 14:31 11 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:11 15 October 2019
The family of an Exmouth woman who was one of 157 passengers who died an the Ethiopia Airlines crash have received her posthumous master’s degree award.
Joanna Toole was one of eight British passengers on board a flight ET302 bound for Nairobi, Kenya, when the Boeing aeroplane crashed shortly after take off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The 36-year-old was due to take part in the United Nations Environment Assembly where she was to direct an event titled Sea-based Sources of Marine Litter.
Her family have since launched legal action against Boeing.
Joanna had been approaching the conclusion of a course at Rome's LUMSA University, which decided to award her the degree, posthumously.
Her father Adrian and sister Vicky travelled to Milan to receive her master's degree in management of sustainable development goals.
Mr Toole said: "The past seven months have been so empty for the family that it was encouraging to be there in Milan in that special gathering and to hear so much praise of my daughter."
Professor Giovann Ferri, course director, said: "Joanna was the jewel for our course.
"Given her exceptional achievement and that she died in a mission on sustainable development, LUMSA awarded Joanna an 'ad memoriam' MSDG degree.
"The presence and words of Adrian, Paul and Vicky - Joanna's father, companion and sister - inspired and strengthened us in our journey towards a sustainable future."
In April, she was also given an honours award by the RSPCA for her influential campaigning on animal welfare issues.
Earlier this year, an award recognising the work being done to reduce the amount of plastic fishing gear left in the world's oceans was created in Ms Toole's name.
The Joanna Toole annual Ghost Gear Solutions Award will be given to the most deserving project submitted to World Animal Protection.
Mr Toole said the family has been told they are now able to repatriate her body to the UK following a long wait for forensic identification results.