Man missing in Otaki boating tragedy had just bought inflatable boat

By Melissa Nightingale

Jared Evan Anderson, who is missing after his inflatable boat capsized in Kapiti, was a 'top guy', friend Ryan Wenzlick said. Photo/supplied
Jared Evan Anderson, who is missing after his inflatable boat capsized in Kapiti, was a 'top guy', friend Ryan Wenzlick said. Photo/supplied

The two men killed in the Otaki river mouth on Monday were on a $40 inflatable boat, a friend says.

Ryan Wenzlick, a friend of Jared Evan Anderson, whose body is still missing after his inflatable boat capsized in the Otaki river mouth this week has spoken of a "top guy" who liked to push the limits.

Anderson pushed the limits too far when he and Wayne Anthony De Bruyn headed out on the water on Monday, Wenzlick said.

The boat capsized in the rough water and De Bruyn's body was later found by searchers. Anderson is still missing and presumed dead.

Wenzlick said Anderson mentioned on the Sunday he had bought a boat for $40.

He also spoke to Anderson on the phone the day the two men headed out on the boat.

"I think I was the last person that actually would have talked to Wayne or Jared," he said.

Wenzlick said Anderson was his best friend, and "like a brother". He had known him for 14 years and despite living in different areas, would talk to Anderson for an hour on the phone every day.

Today, he was "still trying to get over the shock" of what happened.

The Cambridge farmer said Anderson had "always done out-there things".

"You could picture it happening. He'd just be going 'let's go for a cruise in the boat and see how it works'.

"Jared's a keen guy. He's always pushing the limits. I reckon he pushed it that one bit too far."

Wenzlick reminisced on "late-night missions" when he and Anderson would leave Cambridge after 6pm milking, drive to New Plymouth, and get back to Cambridge five minutes before morning milking.

He said there was "never a dull moment with Jared".

"Every person he met and was close to had a different connection with him."

His favourite memory was a day of cruising around in circles on the tractor sharing "three boxes of piss".

"He was like a brother to me and I've got a lot of friends, but he was my best mate."

- NZ Herald

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