Preparation key for Cyclone Gabrielle’s arrival

Coastguard is urging boaties across the upper North Island to use the weekend to prepare for Cyclone Gabrielle’s arrival late Sunday into next week. 

Forecasters are predicting Cyclone Gabrielle to bring heavy rain, strong winds and rough sea conditions to Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, northern and eastern Waikato, Bay of Plenty and northern Gisborne from Monday to Tuesday. 

Coastguard Head of Operations Rob McCaw said boaties with vessels at marinas and on moorings should take the next few days to check their vessel is well secured and ready to see-out the coming weather. 

“After several massive weather events already this year, forecasts suggest Cyclone Gabrielle’s impact could be as significant if not bigger – making being ready for any scenario vital,” he said.  

"With a cyclonic system the combination of wind and rain along with the rapid rise in sea-states creates a high-risk environment on and near the water. So, spend the next couple of days making sure your vessels are secure, bilge pumps are working and everything is tied down securely.” 

Rob McCaw said boaties should prepare now, avoiding needing to act in the eye of the storm. 

“Do not plan to be at-sea over the warning periods, even if the conditions appear calm. Systems like this can arrive rapidly with little or no warning, it is simply not worth the risk. If you are at sea when Gabrielle arrives, ensure you’ve got a plan – identify areas now where you can seek shelter and be safe, review your onboard safety procedures and make sure Coastguard or Maritime Radio know where you are,” he said. 

"As always, the best rule of thumb is ‘if in doubt, don’t go out’.” 

Coastguard advice for Cyclone Gabrielle: 

  • Before the weather hits, check your vessel is on a reliable and secure mooring, well tied up in its berthing or covered and secure ashore.  
  • Avoid being at anchor if at all possible. If you're at sea, ensure you have a plan in place in case conditions worsen, including identifying areas you can seek shelter and review all your onboard safety plans.  
  • Make sure your vessel is weathertight and that your bilge pumps work.  
  • Marine conditions can be disrupted for a time after the initial cyclone has passed through. Check your local marine weather forecast before heading back onto the water, if in doubt, don’t go out. 
  • If you need assistance, Coastguard volunteers remain on call 24/7. For on-water assistance call *500 free from your mobile phone or use your local Coastguard VHF channel. For marine emergencies please call 111 or VHF Channel 16. 

For more information, contact:  
Ben Parsons  
Coastguard New Zealand Senior Communications Advisor  
[email protected] 

Thanks to our life-saving partners:
  • Auckland Council
  • Northland Regional Council
  • Waikato Regional Council
  • Hutchwilco
  • Marine Deals
  • Tower
  • Kordia
  • Hyundai
  • Line7
  • Century Batteries
  • Half Moon Bay
  • NZCT
  • Lotteries Grants Board
  • Lion Foundation
  • Pub Charity