Historic concerns raised over Enchanter Fishing Charters, but skipper had "excellent understanding" of emergency procedures.

Official information obtained by Newshub shows historic concerns were raised in relation to Enchanter Fishing Charter vessels, including a near miss involving the vessel that sank in March killing five people.

However, Maritime New Zealand’s most recent audit of the company’s vessels, in February 2020, show its three vessels, the Enchanter, Pacific Invader and the Cova Rose had appropriate safety systems and all critical records were “well maintained.”

The skipper of the Enchanter, Lance Goodhew, had “excellent awareness of operational matters” and his vessel was “well presented” according to the audit document.


An earlier audit in 2018 noted that Goodhew had an "excellent understanding" of emergency drills onboard the vessel. One of the company’s vessels was involved in a helicopter medevac of a patient in the same year.

The Enchanter was on a five-day trip to the Three Kings Islands north of Cape Reinga in March when it sank in a storm.

Five of those onboard were rescued, including Goodhew and senior deckhand Kobe O'Neill. Five others died - Cambridge men Richard Bright, 63, Mike Lovett, 72, Geoffrey Allen, 72, Mark Walker, 41, and Mark Sanders, 43, from Te Awamutu.

Maritime New Zealand documents show the Enchanter was involved in a near miss with another vessel in 2017, although the incident did not require a formal investigation.

"After the alleged incident, we spoke to both skippers, and in this instance, we took an educational approach," a spokesperson said.

The agency says it reminded the skippers of the collision prevention rules

In 2019, a complaint was made about consumption of alcohol onboard the multiple charter vessels, including Enchanter. A Health and Safety inspection was carried out according to Maritime New Zealand but "no concerns were identified" and no further action was taken. Newshub understands the complaint over alcohol consumption did not involve or relate to Goodhew.

In June 2017, a warning known as a 'non-conformity notice' was issued to L and M Goodhew Ltd because of the absence of maintenance plans for their vessels. Again, no action was taken when the records were updated and provided to Maritime New Zealand.

In a more historic incident, Lance Goodhew was fined in August 2009 for operating outside safe operating limits.

Goodhew established Enchanter Fishing Charters in 1995 and is a qualified offshore master.