Missing fisherman Mick Endres.
Photo Contributed
Missing fisherman Mick Endres. Photo Contributed Contributed

'A heart the size of the ocean': What happened to Big Mick?

BELOVED Evans Head fisherman Michael Endres has not been seen in five years, but his memory lives on at the Evans Fishing Co-Op, where he was a board member.

Mick was last seen on September 12, 2014 and disappeared while on a fishing expedition.

"We miss you Big Mick and know you're catching boat loads of fish in Heaven,” a Co-Op Facebook memorandum said just days after his disappearance.

"You certainly had a heart the size of the ocean and we feel honoured to have known you.

"Michael Endres loved being a part of the Northern Rivers community and said 'it's just a great place to grow up'.

"He started fishing at the age of five and was a strong believer in keeping it local and supporting the Australian fishing industry.”

The alert was raised when he failed to return to port 30 hours after his last radio contact.

A search by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter began on the morning of September 13 but was called off after a day after his 7m-long craft 'Julie' was discovered empty, 16 nautical miles east of Evans Head.

A tribute was held for Mick on the following Saturday, September 20, at the Co-Op, where an orange lifebuoy, rope and blue helium balloons were slung over a docking post, accompanied by a photo and a letter of tribute to "Big Mick”.

Born in 1969, Michael was 45 at the time of his disappearance and would be 50 now.

He is described as heaving a heavy build and is 180cm tall, with a fair complexion and ginger hair.

In March 2005, Mick's boat 'Julie' had to be towed back to Evans Head after being struck by a prawn trawler at Kahors Reef.