Waves batter Wellington's south coast

04:08, Jun 29 2012
Kelp Owhiro Bay
Cesar Cardenas and Daniel McNaughtan walk over kelp and debris on the road at Owhiro Bay.
Kelp Owhiro Bay
Heather Beauchamp navigates kelp and debris on the road at Owhiro Bay.
Kelp Owhiro Bay
Council workers clear kelp and debris on the road at Owhiro Bay.
Kelp Owhiro Bay
Owhiro Bay Parade
Kelp Owhiro Bay
Waves lash Wellington's South Coast as the Interislander ferry heads out in the harbour.
Ferry Big Swell
The Interislander ferry negotiates huge swells off Wellington's South Coast.
Lyall Bay swell
Huge swells at Lyall Bay provide high adrenalin for kite surfers.

High seas continue to pummell Wellington's South Coast today after 8-metre waves covered roads with kelp, rocks and debris overnight.

A boat reported taking on water in strong winds and high seas at the entrance to Wellington Harbour about 9.40am.

Police communications Inspector Ken Climo said the boat called for help about 800m off shore.

Kelp Owhiro Bay
Cesar Cardenas and Daniel McNaughtan walk over kelp and debris on the road at Owhiro Bay.

The police launch was sent to the scene and was escorting the boat back to Seaview, Mr Climo said.

The boat was no longer taking on water, he said.

Interislander spokeswoman Candice Johanson said the 6.30am cargo-only Aratere crossing from Wellington to Picton was cancelled due to the high swells, and this affected the 10.30am return ferry.

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All passengers from the cancelled crossing were transferred onto the 1pm crossing this afternoon, she said. No other services were affected.

Council spokesman Richard MacLean said in a statement this morning drivers should avoid South Coast roads, especially in Owhiro Bay and Island Bay where kelp, rocks and other debris has been washed up.

Moa Point Rd at the southern end of the Wellington Airport runway was closed overnight. Council contractors worked to clear the road this morning and it re-opened just before 9am.

MetService forecaster William Nepe said last night waves up to 8m, and often reaching 5m, had been hitting the South Coast between 11pm and midnight.

The large waves were caused by a big swell coming from the sea between Wellington and Chatham Is and mixing with strong winds in the same south-westerly direction.

However, the swell is proving a playground for adrenalin seekers, with kite surfers taking to the waves at Lyall Bay.

Contact Tom Hunt
Porirua reporter
Email: tom.hunt@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @tomdom76

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