The Enchanter charter fishing boat. Photo / Provided
Whakatāne charter boat operators are thinking of ‘highly respected’ skipper Lance Goodhew whose boat Enchanter sank in a storm in the Far North on Sunday evening.
They say Goodhew, who survived the ordeal, has long been
member of the local fishing community and a “very competent” skipper.
Five people rescued from the sinking have now been released from hospital and the bodies of four people were found today.
Police say search efforts to find a fifth person are continuing.
Whakatāne Sports Fishing Club chairman Karmann Tresidder said Goodhew was a “highly respected” skipper in the community and the incident was “bloody tragic”.
She said it hit “very close to home” because he still occasionally runs fishing charters out of Whakatāne – heading for Ranfurly Banks and White Island.
“He’s very well known in our fishing community, and for us it’s a tragedy because the boat still comes here from time to time.”
Diveworks Charters owner Phil van Dusschoten skippered Enchanter when she arrived in Whakatāne in the late 1980s alongside the original owner.
Enchanter was then purchased by local kiwifruit grower Barry Carter who sold it to Goodhew around 2000, van Dusschoten said.
Van Dusschoten was saddened by the news and described the ship as a “very solid boat”.
He believed he had been trouble-free in weather like last night and his heart was with everyone involved.
“It’s really sad to see a really good, solid boat go, but nothing is invincible,” he said.
“Lance is one of those people you don’t forget when you meet him, he’s a very good angler.”
He said the boat was originally designed for deep-sea fishing and was Whakatāne’s first vessel legally allowed to fish on the Ranfurly Banks.
Former club chairman Goose Haddock, who had known Goodhew since he set up Enchanted Fishing Charters, was in shock and said the incident was “hard to talk about”.
“It’s not a good day for Whakatāne and the fishing community.”
He said Goodhew had operated from Mangonui for around 15 years and described him as a “very capable” skipper.
“He’s a very confident angler and he runs a very good business. It’s a tragic thing that happened.”
He considered the sinking of the boat to be “an accident and a tragedy”.
“My condolences to everyone involved.”
Ezyfishing Charters owner Lindsay Hunt, who has known Goodhew for around 13 years, said he was a very capable operator.
“Our hearts go out to everyone involved.”
It is understood a group of people from Auckland and Waikato were on board the fishing vessel Enchanter when it first sounded the alarm just after 8pm on Sunday.
Goodhew then radioed on Radio Mangonui at 10 p.m. saying he was about an hour from North Cape before he lost the signal, iwi chief Penetaui Kleskovic said.
An hour later, the boat was submerged underwater at Murimotu, leaving all 10 on board scrambling to survive.
“Apparently, it was on their journey north to the Three Kings that they encountered torrential weather.”
The charter boat set out from its base at Mangonui in the Far North for a five-day fishing trip and was reportedly on board with the skipper, a crew member and a party from Auckland and Waikato.
– Additional reporting Nikki Preston
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