The huge seas on the Hawke's Bay coast yesterday provided an opportunity for rough-water training for crew of the Coastguard Hawke's Bay rescue craft Celia Knowles.

The boat spent more than an hour on manoeuvres off the Napier Port and Marine Parade beaches after the 8.12am king tide, among the highest expected to be seen in the Bay this year.

Consistent with past conditions around the end of January and early February, during which at least two people have been killed and others have had to be rescued, waves crashed-in from as high as four metres. Coastguard HB president and operations manager Henry van Tuel said: "It's not often we have the opportunity to do rough-water training ... without having to go further out to sea."

"We had a two-and-a-half metres swell, but a couple of big waves came through," he said. "Three to four metres."