Two names added to fishermen's memorial

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 26/11/2012
Fisherman's memorial
John Bisset
Show of respect: Fishing boats were moored around the sea beside the North Mole in respect while the service took place, pictured from left are Raymond Mitchell, Erin and Liam Register.

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Two names have been added to a rock near the North Mole in honour of Timaru fishermen who have died.

Crowds gathered and a fleet of fishing boats anchored near Caroline Bay on Saturday to pay their respects to seamen Peter Hunter and Wayne Mitchell. Both men died at sea within the past 12 months.

Mr Hunter, 58, failed to return from fishing on November 23, 2011. His body was found nine nautical miles off the coast of Timaru the next day, close to debris thought to be from his boat Journeyman.

Mr Mitchell, skipper of Sanford boat Ikawai, died of an apparent heart attack while at sea in Cook Strait on August 19 this year. He was 62.

Both men were remembered by family and friends, while church representatives, kaumatua and a piper added to the memorial service.

Mr Mitchell's brother, Raymond Mitchell, led the ceremony, saying the memorial was a special place to go to remember loved ones.

The plaques were unveiled by Mr Hunter's daughter and grandson, Erin and Liam Register.

The memorial was established by Timaru fishermen in 2004 at the instigation of Gordon Mitchell, and unveiled at a blessing on March 5, 2005.

Mr Mitchell decided to do something after his brother-in-law Bryon "Hec" Low died in March 2004.

Searchers found the experienced 44-year-old's fishing boat Diane idling in water about four nautical miles south of Patiti Pt with no-one on board.

An investigation concluded that the lack of any distress message by Mr Low indicated he was probably lost overboard after a sudden catastrophic event that prevented him from accessing communications equipment.

Mr Mitchell said at the time that it was important to have something tangible because in many cases bodies had not been found, so the memorial would be a place for people to go to remember those lost at sea.

Plaques on the memorial, which is on the seaward side of the Timaru Yacht and Power Boat Club, acknowledge Mr Low, as well as Mr Mitchell's brothers, Brian and Wayne.

FISHING DEATHS

Timaru fishermen who have lost their lives

Peter McKinlay Hunter (Pete), 58, died at sea on November 23, 2011.

Wayne Gregory Mitchell, 62, died suddenly at sea on August 19, 2012.

Bryon Robert Hector Low (Hec), 44, was lost at sea on March 6, 2004.

David Hartley Laurie (Dave), 41, was lost off the Oamaru coast on February 28, 1993.

Campbell Nicol (Whale), 33, drowned on March 26, 1992.

Christopher James (Chris) McCarthy, 35, and Patrick Joseph McCarthy, 25, died in an accident at Motunau Beach on October 9, 1986.

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Brian Philip Mitchell (Herk), 29, was lost at sea on June 9, 1983.

Ross Neil Baird, 29, was lost at sea on November 7, 1981.

Robert E Beaumont (Bob), 32, drowned at Akaroa on April 4, 1981.

James William Odey (Jimmy), 23, was lost at sea on May 27, 1966.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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