Cyclone Gabrielle: Missing boatie rescued near Great Barrier Island

A boatie who was reported missing from Great Barrier Island amongst the chaos of Cyclone Gabrielle has been rescued and is on their way back to Auckland, police say.

The person was reported missing 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.

Now, the Defence Force and police are desperately searching for another boatie lost at sea.

A “person in distress” was reported in a yacht off Northland, thought to be around the Bream Head area, on Tuesday morning.

The Royal New Zealand Navy HMNZS Te Mana is responding to an individual in distress.


The Royal New Zealand Navy HMNZS Te Mana is responding to an individual in distress.

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.

Childs said there were no further updates to share, but the Defence Force would be providing them as soon as it was able to.

“Police will make further attempts to approach the vessel when conditions allow.”

The navy have been search around the Hen and Chicken Island group and Bream Head.

Google Maps/Supplied

The navy have been search around the Hen and Chicken Island group and Bream Head.

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.

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