The Napier Port retrieved one battered shipping container from Bay View this morning, but the other is still missing.

In the extreme wind conditions on Monday morning, two empty 40-foot containers weighing 3.8 tonnes each, were blown off a stack in the container terminal and into the water.

Napier Port container operations manager Warren Young said at 45 knots (83km/h), the wind gusts hitting Napier Port had been extreme.

The damaged container was retrieved at 8am using a crane to lift it on to a truck.


A large navigation buoy which broke its moorings and washed up next to the container was also retrieved.

The search is still on for the second missing shipping container, but many believed it was sitting on the ocean floor.

Napier Port chief executive Todd Dawson said when conditions eased Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, Napier Port sent out its survey boat, pilot boat and a chartered fishing vessel to survey the seafloor near where the container entered the water and the length of the shipping channel.

After the all-clear was given that there were no navigation hazards, shipping resumed yesterday before noon.

Dawson said given that time has passed with no sightings, there was a chance the container had been punctured and had sunk.

The port's marine team, including the tug and pilot boat masters, will be actively watching for the container until it is retrieved and warnings will remain in place for the local boating community.

Hawke's Bay harbourmaster Martin Moore said the region experienced large swells, with the largest reaching 8.5m. Although that may seem high, he said it was fairly regular for winter storms.