The Maritime New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre has rescued a French citizen after they got into trouble on their yacht off North Cape.
Three rescue helicopters were initially deployed to the vessel but one has since been stood down.
A rescue crew from Whangārei winched the French national from the boat and they are being taken to Kerikeri where they will be met by Customs.
“MFAT has been advised, they will advise the French Consulate of the rescue of their citizen,” a RCCNZ spokesperson said.
The yacht got into trouble as the remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Lola bore down on the region.
“Maritime NZ Rescue Coordination Centre (RCCNZ) is currently co-ordinating a search and Rescue response to a French yacht, the Juan Sabulan, 28 Nautical Miles off the coast of North Cape,” said a Maritime New Zealand spokesperson.
At the time, MetService forecaster Matthew Ford said wind gusts at Cape Reinga are currently blowing at 120km/h. He said heavy rain is also starting to hit the Northland region.
The yacht activated its Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) this morning due to loss of motor and damage to its rigging and sails.
The incident occurred just an hour after an orange strong wind warning came into effect for the region.
Damaging gusts of up to 130km/h in exposed places are expected until 6am on Monday.
An orange heavy rain warning for Northland also comes into effect from midday today through to 6am tomorrow.
”It’s a pretty poor run of weather for Northland today and tomorrow,” said Ford.
”The wind is going to be quite significant.”
The wild weather for northern parts of the North Island has been brought on by ex-Tropical Cyclone Lola and the Coromandel will be in the firing line later today.
A large, deep, complex low-pressure system is moving slowly towards northern New Zealand, bringing moisture and tropical air from the subtropics.
“It is going to be a fairly wet and windy-looking story as we head towards the end of Sunday and through to the start of next week for those northern parts of the country,” said MetService meteorologist John Law.
Strong wind warnings are also in place for Auckland from Whangaparāoa northwards and Great Barrier Island from 6pm and the Coromandel Peninsula from 9pm until 11am tomorrow.