Gale-force winds in Wellington dragged an anchored 20,000 gross tonnage logging ship across the harbour this morning.

Wellington harbourmaster Captain Mike Pryce said the Panamanian-flagged Kwela arrived from Bluff on Monday afternoon and anchored in Wellington harbour awaiting loading instructions before receiving a load of logs.

However, gale-force winds - not unusual for Wellington - began to drag the ship just before 6am today while it was anchored, Captain Pryce said.

The ships master then told the Wellington signal station on Beacon Hill he was going to pull up the ship's anchor and steam further north in the harbour.


"He'd requested a pilot to put into anchor somewhere else a bit more sheltered.

"Then when the pilot boarded they steamed away to the north and then anchored near the bottom of Ngauranga Gorge."

The wild weather also tore a yacht of its moorings in Evans Bay last night, Captain Pryce said.

"Another boat towed it into the breakwater. Maritime police were called but I think they'd already been rescued by the time they got down there.

"But then later on they found out they were taking [on] water, so I think the maritime police organised for the fire brigade to pump them out."

No one was on board when the yacht broke its moorings, Captain Pryce said.