Two boaties reported missing amongst the chaos of Cyclone Gabrielle have been rescued, authorities say.
One person was reported missing off Auckland’s Great Barrier Island after reports of a boat in distress at 2.15am Monday.
Senior Sergeant Garry Larsen from the Police Maritime Unit said on Tuesday the person on board the stranded vessel had since been rescued.
”Police were assisted by the Navy frigate HMNZS Te Mana, with the Northland Emergency Services Trust Helicopter providing air support.”
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The police and Defence Force were also assisted in the search by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Coastguard and Urban Search and Rescue.
A “person in distress” was also reported in a yacht off Northland, thought to be around the Bream Head area, on Tuesday morning.
At an Auckland Emergency Management press conference on Tuesday morning, Colonel Mel Childs said the HMNZS Te Mana was looking for the yacht, which was “adrift at sea”.
“Overnight, Te Mana has completed a search north of the Hen and Chicken Island group and east of Bream Head.
“I have just been advised that a locator beacon has just been activated on the vessel and Te Mana is making best speed with an estimated time of arrival of two hours,” Childs said at 8am.
At 2pm, Childs said the boatie had been rescued and was safe on board Te Mana.
Coastguard has urged boaties to stay off the water in “cyclone-affected areas”.
“Dangerous sea conditions continue to pummel the coastline,” Coastguard said.
“All water-users should stay off and away from the water – it’s now too late and too dangerous to check on moorings or venture out to assess storm damage,” Coastguard head of operations Rob McCaw said.
“Put your own safety first by staying on land until Cyclone Gabrielle has passed, even then be aware that storm surges and unpredictable seas will continue for some time even once Gabrielle has passed.”
MetService has said although the heavy rain had subsided in Auckland, the winds were still severe and Aucklanders could expect possible wind damage on Tuesday.
“We are in a relatively settled spell at the moment, and it is not too windy in urban areas, and they will increase this afternoon,” MetService’s Georgia Griffiths said at 8am.
“Severe southwest gales are still gusting 100kph, and 120-130 kph in exposed areas.”
Griffiths said although this would be the “last day” that Cyclone Gabrielle would be in Auckland, the rest of the country would continue to experience the severe weather.
On Tuesday morning, the Government declared a national state of emergency.