Warnings over debris washes ashore

08:09, Mar 04 2014
rescued boatie
Fatilua Matini talks to Constable Matthew Wheble, after being rescued.

Debris is washing up on coastal roads around Wellington tonight, with police warning drivers to take care.

The storm front, which has moved up the country, is causing rocks and other debris to wash up on roads around Moa Point in Wellington and on Marine Parade near Eastbourne, Senior Sergeant Marc Clausen said.

The roads remain open but high tide is approaching at 9.30pm. Contractors are on the way to clear the roads but Mr Clausen said drivers should be careful.

Earlier, all three InterIslander ferries have been suspended for the night due to bad weather, and trains on the Johsonville line have also been affected. 

Tomorrow's sailings will be reviewed later tonight, with more severe gusts up to 120kmh forecast for Wednesday.

Wet weather is also affecting commuters on the Johnsonville Line, with services running up to 12 minutes late due to slippery track conditions. The 5.35 service was cancelled. 


Both Bluebridge ferries were sailing around 5pm but passengers on later sailings have been warned of delays or cancellations depending on how bad the storm got, a spokeswoman said.

The Kaitaki inter-island ferry turned back to Picton as strong winds that battered Christchurch today approached Wellington.

The front has created high seas in the Cook Strait, with up to 9.5m swells. The Stena Alegra, which does not have stabilisers, is in Wellington harbour and is not expected to sail until swells subside later tonight.

Both Bluebridge ferries are still sailing - the Santa Regina has left Picton and is en route to Wellington via Tory Channel, the Straitsman is in Cook Strait heading for Picton.

Maritime police say the incoming southerlies are also hampered efforts to locate boaties stuck off the Kapiti Coast.

Two boaties stuck aboard a fishing vessel in poor weather condition off the Kapiti Coast have been rescued.They have just been towed back to shore by the coast guard and were being looked after by police at the Mana Esplanade, senior launch master Richard Kennedy of Maritime Police said.

The weather is taking a dramatic turn and will be hitting the pair and the coastguard that has come to their rescue about now, Maritime police senior launch master Richard Kennedy said.

The search for the boaties, who put out a call for assistance about 1pm, proved difficult and the coastguard put up a white flare and received smoke-signals in response from the men.

They had made contact via cellphone and a rescue helicopter was on standby in case the boat needed to be abandoned, Mr Kennedy said.

The coastguard hoped to be able to tow the boat back to Pukerua Bay or to take the men aboard if the weather got any worse.

There were currently 1.5-metres swells in the area and choppy conditions, Mr Kennedy said.The low that has been spiralling up the South Island's east coast towards Wellington is starting to hit the south coast of the North Island with heavy rain and southwesterly gusts of up to 120kmh expected in the capital between 4pm and 6pm, MetService forecaster Tuporo Marsters said.

Wellington and Wairarapa had a severe weather warning for the strong winds in place.The wind would be comparable to the wind that has been causing chaos in Christchurch, where roofs have been lifted, power has been cut to many, some flights have been halted, and trees toppled.

Mr Marsters said the gales would continue to howl through today into the evening in the lower North Island - especially at exposed coastal areas - and would start to let up tomorrow morning.However, strong gusts were also forecast tomorrow.

Wellington was also in store for another cold night tonight with the temperature expected to drop to 8degC.