It is a scene that seems almost surreal today — adventure filmmaker Alison Teal paddle surfing along the River Thames in bubblegum-pink swimwear, fishing out plastic rubbish from the murky waters.
The photographs were taken just last month before anyone could have imagined that within weeks, half of humanity would find itself confined at home to stem the spread of COVID-19.
However, their message remains valid: protect our planet.
Dubbed the “Female Indiana Jones” by Time magazine, Teal, who is in her 30s, has for years traveled the globe raising awareness about the environment and battling plastic pollution.
With a wide social media following, her aim is to “educate through entertainment” with spontaneous events in dramatic — if unlikely — spots, always in her signature pink, like her eco-friendly surfboard made from recycled coffee cups.
She wants to convey the warning that the world’s oceans are in trouble and hopes to inspire youngsters to act.
A series of photographs featuring Teal are to be published today to mark Earth Day. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has swept across the globe, the project has taken on new meaning for the adventurous Hawaiian.
“Hopefully this is the time in history to recognize how interconnected we all are globally to improve our health for both humans and the planet,” she said in e-mailed comments from confinement at her home in Hawaii.
“It’s severely tragic the impact that the virus is having on people’s lives,” she said.
However, she added that she also saw “a ray of hope” with the effect the confinement was having on the environment.
“It makes me hopeful that we have the capability to work on improving our planet’s waterways and air quality,” she said.
Having surfed along the River Seine in Paris past the Eiffel Tower in 2018, Teal came to the British capital early last month to stage a series of photographs.
The images also show her night surfing and posing at London landmarks such as Buckingham Palace or following in The Beatles’ footsteps on Abbey Road.
They add to an impressive portfolio the surfer has amassed in the past few years.
Teal has published short films on her blog and social media, showing her diving to retrieve plastic from the ocean or paddling through stretches of rubbish from the Maldives to Los Angeles.
LIFE GOES ON: After a strict lockdown that left millions on the brink of starvation, Indians embrace work to avoid starvation and get ready for several major festivals India is on course to top the world in COVID-19 cases, but from Maharashtra’s whirring factories to Kolkata’s thronging markets, people are back at work — and eager to forget the pandemic for festival season. After a strict lockdown in March that left millions on the brink of starvation, the government and people of the world’s second-most populous country decided life must go on. Sonali Dange, for instance, has two young daughters and an elderly mother-in-law to look after. She was hospitalized this year in excruciating pain after catching the novel coronavirus. However, after the lockdown exhausted the family’s savings, the 29-year-old had
A COVID-19 outbreak among hundreds of Russian and Ukrainian fishers flown to New Zealand to bolster its struggling deep-sea fishing industry has prompted that country’s largest daily increase in infections in months, authorities said yesterday. More than 230 fishers were flown in from Moscow last week, with 18 of the crew members then testing positive for COVID-19 while in quarantine, New Zealand Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said. The Pacific nation has almost eliminated local transmission of the virus, but regularly records small numbers of new cases in returned travelers. The fishing cluster pushed the daily tally of new infections to 25,
From monitoring vital signs to filtering filthy air and even translating speech into other languages, the COVID-19-fueled boom in mask-wearing has spawned an unusual range of high-tech face coverings. As masks become the norm worldwide, tech companies and researchers are rolling out weird and wonderful models to guard against infection and cash in on a growing trend. One of the wackiest comes from Japan, where start-up Donut Robotics has created a face covering that helps users adhere to social distancing and also acts as a translator. The “C-Face” mask works by transmitting a wearer’s speech to a smartphone via an app, and allows
JAPAN Deer-edible bags invented The deer that roam Nara no longer face discomfort — or far worse — after local firms developed a safe alternative to the plastic packaging discarded by tourists that often ended up in the animals’ stomachs. Last year, several of the 1,300 deer that wander around the ancient capital’s central park were found dead after swallowing plastic bags and food wrappers. Firms collaborated to develop bags that pass safely through the animals’ complex digestive system. The bags are made with recycled pulp from milk cartons and rice bran, one of the main ingredients of the shika senbei savory