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Ryan’s Story

Legacy of a Young Ocean-Lover

Nancy Gamble

Ryan was happiest when on or near the sea. Photo courtesy Jane Hoe.
Just before Christmas last year, a bright 12-year boy named Ryan, who lived in Bathampton, England, took ill with a seemingly minor disorder. Tragically, he did not recover. Although Ryan left this world entirely too soon, his promise of a lifetime devoted to the sea has survived.

His passion for the ocean and everything living in it, especially great white sharks, led to Ryan’s family’s decision to support shark research instead of setting up a memorial fund. In his memory PRBO is establishing the Ryan Hoe Farallon Research Fund. “That is exactly what Ryan would have wanted” said his mother.

If you are interested in donating please contact me at or by phone at (707) 781-2554.

With heartfelt gratitude we offer Ryan’s story below, from a letter by his mother, Jane.

A Life Calling

“Ryan was a beautiful, polite, and happy young man with an extremely quirky sense of humor. He had a strong sense of his own identity, a large part of which was due to his conviction that he was going to be a marine biologist when he was older.

“I can first recall Ryan’s interest in marine wildlife when he was very tiny; he had such a fascination with picture books showing life under the sea. As he got older his obsession grew with his knowledge: the more he read and watched, the more he understood about the complex relationships between all the different types of sea life. As he matured he became really concerned about the fragility of marine wildlife and the destructive effects of man, especially on sharks, and was determined to do something to help them when he was older.

“The knowledge and understanding he had of marine wildlife earned him the respect of all his friends and teachers, which in turn enriched his short life. As a family we now have wonderful memories of summer holidays spent carefully analyzing the contents of just about every rock pool in Cornwall! My dearest memories now are of our walks together, when he’d chat away with such enthusiasm about all the places he was going to dive and what he’d find there.
Sharks, in particular the white shark, fascinated and inspired Ryan during his lifetime. Photo - Google images.

“Ryan’s greatest ambition in the last few years was to tag great white sharks, as he said we just didn’t have enough information on them. He was in awe of these magnificent creatures and understood their importance in the balance of their marine environment. When I called The Shark Trust to inquire about setting up a memorial fund for Ryan, they suggested that the money could be sent directly to your research on white sharks on the Farallon Islands. This is exactly what Ryan would have wanted.

“The gift I am sending now is Ryan’s Christmas money; there will be more. I am just so pleased you are doing this invaluable research and that Ryan is able to contribute to it. I know he would be so chuffed.”

("Chuffed" is a British colloquialism meaning “pleased” or “satisfied” with one’s self and with life in general.)

Our Appreciation
Through Farallon Island studies that support the protection of white sharks and other marine life, PRBO aims to carry out Ryan’s legacy. PRBO photo.

We at PRBO are honored that Ryan’s family has chosen to support PRBO’s white shark research in the Gulf of the Farallones. Ryan’s legacy will live on, and we ask that you consider including PRBO in your planned giving so that we may continue to monitor the health of marine ecosystems well into the future.

To learn how you can leave a Lasting Legacy please contact Nancy Gamble, Director of Individual Giving, at 707-781-2554 or Thank You!