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Obituary Ousmane Coulibaly

May 17, 2024
Ousmane Coulibaly. Photo: private
Ousmane Coulibaly. Photo: private

It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of our young colleague Ousmane Coulibaly, who died suddenly on May 8, 2024 without any apparent illness and inexplicably for us - not even 29 years old. Ousmane had become an integral part of the MARUM workshop team over the past five years. Whenever you entered the workshop, he always greeted you in a friendly manner, standing in front of the CNC milling machine, his primary workplace.

When we look at Ousmane's life, we have to pay tribute to him. At the same time, we have to take bitter note of how unfairly life repeatedly intervenes against some people. Ousmane was born in Guitry (Côte d'Ivoire) in 1995 and fled to Senegal in 2000 together with his parents, brother and 7 sisters. At the age of 16, Ousmane set off alone as a refugee on the risky journey across the Mediterranean to Europe, actually on his way to Sweden. He was picked up twice in Germany until he was accommodated in Bremen and attended the Rockwinkel secondary school for 2 years. After taking part in a 1-year introductory training course, Ousmane began training as an industrial mechanic at the AFZ (here in the NW1 training workshop at the University of Bremen), which he successfully completed in January 2019. He then began his employment with us at MARUM on recommendation, which was terminated in 2021 due to his very good performance.

In addition to his work in the workshop team, Ousmane quickly gained access to the diving robot expedition teams and went on his first MeBo expedition in May 2019. He has just returned from his 7th expedition 6 weeks ago, back in Bremen.

Ousmane was a very polite and always friendly person, rather quiet and reserved in his nature and very much appreciated by his colleagues. He was an example of excellent integration into a foreign culture and a foreign country, far away from his family - after a highly risky journey during his escape.

Due to his reserved nature and his history, it was not easy to get to know the private Ousmane, which everyone who knew him respected. I think you could say that Ousmane had arrived here. He was obviously about to give his life a new purpose, with a family of his own - what a tragedy.

We are all still affected and are trying to make sense of it all, which is very difficult. A young, outwardly healthy-looking person is suddenly no longer there, from one day to the next, and will never come back.

We miss Ousmane, very much, and many of his colleagues will recall their shared memories, with Ousmane at MARUM but also with him while traveling, on board the research vessels, in the restaurant, on the road with the team and in the world. Many of us expedition travelers have these "anecdote books in our heads", with stories and pictures... in this case, we preserve the memories of our dear colleague Ousmane Coulibaly in them.

Gerrit Meinecke

(MARUM, Marine Technology)