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Water Safety in Napier

On a sunny and warm Hawke’s Bay day, Marine Parade beach can look picture perfect and very inviting for a dip to cool off. However, due to a steep drop-off, strong undertow and unpredictable waves, swimming is not advised.

 The stones on the water’s edge can also be unstable under foot and it is very easy to be knocked off your feet. It can be very dangerous and extremely difficult to exit the water. Adults are asked to supervise tamariki at all times.

 Due to these dangers please do not swim or play near the water at Marine Parade. 

Swimming beaches in Napier

 People are advised to always swim between the red and yellow flags at the near-by patrolled Ahuriri beaches, from Perfume point to the small Port Beach or alternatively, Westshore Beach.

Pacific Surf Life Saving Club will have a patrol tower based in front of the Harbour View Motel with flags located on Ahuriri Beach between Perfume Point and Hot Chick during summer months.

 For up-to-date surf lifesaving patrol information in Napier visit:


A Surf Life Saving Club Coastal Safety Report carried out by Surf Life Saving New Zealand in 2022 confirmed the need for surf lifeguard patrols at Ahuriri beach. This will now be Pacific’s primary patrolling location with Port Beach and Marine Parade having observational patrols when weather conditions determine necessary.

 For the latest information visit

 Remember, if you see anyone in trouble, call 111 immediately.


Trial of rescue buoys along Marine Parade Beach 

What are the rescue devices along the Marine Parade for? Who can use them? How do we use them? All of these questions and more can be answered below in this FAQ section. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, please feel free to drop us a line or just drop into our customer service centre in the CBD.

Sadly, Hawke’s Bay has one of the highest drowning rates in New Zealand, and a number of these are bystanders who attempt to rescue. We hope to reduce the number of drownings allowing members of the public to provide aid to a person in trouble using the rescue buoys.

If you see someone in trouble in the water, call 111 and ask for Police


Buoy1Napier Rescue Buoy Locator 

Search for an address to locate the nearest rescue buoy. If you don't know the address, use one of these search methods:

  • Click Find my location button 
  • Click within the map

Results will include information about your nearest rescue buoy.

FAQs | Ngā Pātai e Kaha Whiua Ana 

What is it all about?

As part of the Safer Napier Programme, Napier City Council is working in partnership with Surf Life Saving New Zealand to trial Public Rescue Equipment along Marine Parade. SLSNZ is supported by New Zealand Search & Rescue. Bright pink rescue buoys will be placed along Marine Parade allowing members of the public to provide aid to a person in trouble or perform a dry rescue.

We will deliver a local campaign and place new signs to raise community awareness about the dangers of the Marine Parade beach and more about the rescue buoys.

Who is involved in the project?

Napier City Council, Surf Life Saving New Zealand, Pacific Surf Life Saving Club, Drowning Prevention Auckland, New Zealand Search & Rescue and Emergency Services First Responders such as Police, Fire Emergency NZ and St John Ambulance.

How do I use a rescue buoy?

The rescue buoy is thrown to a distressed person in the water. No one should attempt to undertake an in-water rescue when they have not been appropriately trained.

What evidence do we have that this will help?

Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Drowning Prevention Auckland have provided expert advice on the best type of Public Rescue Equipment for Marine Parade. Surf Life Saving New Zealand has been commissioned by the Napier City Council to undertake a coastal risk assessment of the Napier area. This will provide us with a greater understanding of the risks found along our coastal environment and recommendations to help reduce the incidence of drowning.

Where are the buoys located?

Three are indoors at our Council facilities at the Aquarium, BaySkate and I-Site. Four are located along Marine Parade next to the cycle pathway next to Pacific Surf Life Saving Club, the Soundshell, Marine Parade Playground and the Foreshore Reserve Car Park (next to the pump track).Link to map.

What if they get stolen?

We know there is a risk that the rescue buoys will get damaged or stolen. We ask our community to look after them and report anyone damaging or taking the buoys.  Remember “a stolen buoy is a stolen life”.

If you find a rescue buoy or see one is missing, please notify Napier City Council 06 835 7579.


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