Following the death of Gary Manders-Powell on April 30, members of Whitby’s fishing fleet have paid tribute to the young man who ‘always wanted to be a fisherman’.
Gary (21) died when the Ford Mondeo he was driving careened off the road at The Carrs, between Ruswarp and Briggswath.
An investigation into the cause of the crash has begun, but friends and colleagues are coming to terms with the loss of a man who was looking forward to building a life around Whitby’s fishing industry.
Since Christmas he had been working on the trawler Copious WY 170. The boat is offshore, on guard duty for an oil company, but the crew have been made aware of Gary’s death and are said to be devastated. Due to strict rules surrounding guard duty contacts, they are also unaware whether they will be able to return to port in time for Gary’s funeral.
Tragically, Gary should have been at sea with the boat when the accident occurred, but he needed to remain ashore and was working to achieve the final two certificates that would have allowed him to undertake guard duty.
Richard Brewer, owner of Copious, said: “I was utterly devastated. We always found him to be a smiley, happy, level-headed young man who was working well with the other crew.”
Richard’s two sons, Richard Jnr and Stuart, as well as Shane Chapman, are currently at sea on board Copious and were informed of Gary’s death via radio. Shane was Gary’s next door neighbour and introduced him to the crew.
Guard duty is not as labour-intensive or exhausting as fishing and so the crew will have spent many spare hours over the last few weeks talking about their late friend.
Richard Snr said he had never lost a crewmember before, and added he was “sickened” to hear of his death. He added: “From myself, my family and my crew, he will be sorely missed. It’s such a shame it’s happened to such a nice, well-liked, vibrant person.”
Gary, who was from Middlesbrough, had graduated from Whitby Fishing Industry Training School and chief executive Anne Hornigold said: “He was one of the best lads I ever had. Even when he was finished, he used to come in and talk to the other lads.”
During his time at the school, Gary worked and trained on several local vessels and achieved over a dozen qualifications.
“I’ll always remember his Cheshire Cat grin,” added Mrs Hornigold. “If you close your eyes and think of Gary, you see his grin first and then the rest of him appears, like the Cheshire Cat.”
The funeral will take place on Tuesday at Teesside Crematorium.