Enchanter boat tragedy: Skipper Lance Goodhew appears in Kaitāia court

By Shannon Pitman, Open Justice reporter of NZ Herald

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Lance Goodhew appeared in the Kaitāia District Court.
Photo: Supplied / Ministry of Justice

The skipper who was in charge of a fishing boat that sank and killed five men while on a charter trip off the coast of Northland has appeared in court.

Lance Goodhew, 58, of Coopers Beach, faces charges of exposing individuals to risk and harm and a breach of the Maritime Transport Act by failing to operate a ship with the prescribed qualified personnel.

Court documents allege he did not have a medical certificate at the time of the tragedy.

It is also alleged Goodhew breached his duties by leaving the Three Kings Islands while having no regard for the weather and sea state at the time, proceeding to travel around North Cape and expose individuals to the risk of injury or death.

Goodhew was meant to appear in court in April, but did not show as he had a prearranged trip which conflicted with the court date.

The Enchanter was chartered by a group of friends for a three-day fishing trip in what one described as “the trip of a lifetime”.

MetService had issued an “orange warning” for the 24 hours on that day, meaning the weather was rough with high winds and rain.

When the boat was heading back to Mangōnui, an emergency beacon was activated around 8pm.

Deckhand Kobe O’Neill said he heard a “massive thud” understood to be a large wave that hit the boat near Murimotu Island taking out the flagstaff and sinking the vessel.

The five men who lost their lives were Geoffrey James Allen, 72, Michael Patrick Lovett, 72, Richard Eldon Bright, 63, and Mark Keith Walker, 41, all from Cambridge, and Mark Kenneth Sanders, 43, from Te Awamutu.

Goodhew’s court case was adjourned today and he will next appear in Kaitāia District Court in August.

This story was originally published by the New Zealand Herald.

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