Sep 05 2019 All Articles

This is what it’s like to be on your boat when a tornado hits..


The tornado that hit Auckland’s Westhaven Marina on the night of 12 August 2019 left an astounding amount of damage in such a short time.

Ed, who is insured with us had this to say about living through it onboard his Yacht.

“I was on the boat at the time it struck. A lightning storm preceded it for approximately half an hour followed by 5 minutes of heavy rain. The wind was about 25 kts from the West. I then heard what sounded like a strong squall approaching. I stood up and went to my Port-side Northerly window to have a look. Within a few seconds the noise built to quite a roar and the sea surface was moving horizontally through the air. The wind speed was something I have never experienced but has since been estimated at 200 kts.

“My boat lifted up a half meter or a meter into the air and then suddenly heeled over about 30-40° to her Starboard Southerly side. At this point I was thrown to the galley on the Starboard side. Various items including glassware, books and electronic devices were thrown off the table and shelf and hit the cupboards on the Starboard side and ended on the saloon floor. The floor was covered with broken glass and various other items. I looked out the window to the East and saw my dingy and dingy rack lying flat on the pier. I put on my wet weather gear and went outside to take a look.

“All my main dock-lines had held save for a second line which I had on the Starboard quarter. It had pulled a cleat out of that area of the boat. Next, I checked my neighbour on the berth to my South. Her dodger had been ripped off and was lying on the finger. Another neighbour,  lying about 3 meters off my Starboard bow had what looked like a section of building about 3 meters by 3 meters across her stern along with crumpled aluminium framing. The general area around my boat was covered with unidentifiable debris and multiple shards of glass. My dingy was ripped and the inside was covered in glass shards. The rack which it was still attached to had been bent down flat onto the pier, the bolts holding it had been pulled and bent and the support plates had been broken, with the bolts variously bent. I tried to push the rack back, but it would not clear the anchor of my neighbor.

Mariner Insurance has been calling upon its network of specialist assessors and repairers to help all clients with claims get back on the water as efficiently as possible. We estimate there are approx 100 boats damaged.