Two men who died on Saturday in a boating incident off the state’s North-East coast were “great friends with a love of bowls and fishing”.
On Sunday, members of Trevallyn Bowls and Community Club got together to remember their “mates”.
Anthony Benneworth, 67, of Norwood and Anthony Long, 73, of Youngtown, drowned while on a fishing trip at Ansons Bay.
Investigations into the incident are continuing, but is understood the men ended up in the water about 500 metres offshore and drowned.
Inspector Michael Johnston said the investigation indicated the boat encountered some difficulty, became “swamped” and sank “quite quickly”.
A third man, from Youngtown, was also on the boat, but was able to swim to shore to raise the alarm.
The news sent a shockwave through the community.
Both Mr Benneworth and Mr Long were long-time members of the Trevallyn Bowls and Community Club.
Mr Benneworth, or ‘Benny’, as he was known by friends, was the club’s president, a former Australian cricketer and part of Tasmania’s inaugural Sheffield Shield team.
He was also a Liberal candidate for Bass in 2001 and previously served in the Tasmanian House of Assembly.
Cricket Tasmania chairman Andrew Gaggin said he was shocked by the news.
“Tony was a key part of Tasmanian Cricket’s early first class history and a passionate supporter of cricket in Northern Tasmania,” he said.
“His influence as a player and later on as a Cricket Tasmania board director was considerable and he will be sorely missed.”
Trevallyn Bowls acting president Andrew Baird said the men had been friends for more than 20 years and regularly went on fishing trips together.
“It is just a complete shock and very sobering,” he said.
“News like this really brings a sense of reality back into the world.
“I am at a loss. Benny was just a natural leader.
“We always referred to him as the director of the orchestra.”
Tony Long, a past president at the club, was born and raised in Cressy where he first started what would become a lifelong passion for bowls.
Mr Baird said he was a typical “class clown” and someone who always gave people a reason to laugh.
“Tony was just a really funny bloke and a real joker,” Mr Baird said.
“He played a lot of tricks over the years, he was all about having a good time.
“I think they were both having fun and really enjoying their life, right up until the last minute.”
Both men were set to play in next Sunday’s Bowls North division one finals game.