Napier City Council is set to review beachside hazard warning signs and add additional lifeguards to Marine Parade beaches following the death of a 7-year-boy who drowned at Te Awa, Napier.

The boy, Marama Te Pou, was snatched by a wave and swept out to sea on Friday afternoon.

Two young police constables, who were both trained lifeguards, a 27-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman, managed to reach the child.

The trio were all swept away before being plucked from the water by a rescue helicopter but the boy could not be revived.

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According to Napier City Council, a signage review was last undertaken in 2017 following a beach assessment by Surf Lifesaving NZ highlighting the hazards on Marine Parade. Photo / Erin Marsh
According to Napier City Council, a signage review was last undertaken in 2017 following a beach assessment by Surf Lifesaving NZ highlighting the hazards on Marine Parade. Photo / Erin Marsh

A NCC spokeswoman said they plan to review the placement, size and locations of the current signage and will replace any damaged or missing signage on a regular basis.

"In light of the tragic drowning, we will review how we can make people more aware of the dangers swimming along Marine Parade," she said.

"We are working with Surf Lifesaving NZ to look into extending the Seasonal Surf Lifeguard staff service into February each year, to provide specific patrols around events, and to support organisers to promote water safety through their events."

She added: "In addition, we will increase our promotion of water safety messaging before and during summer to better inform our community."

Marama Te Pou, 7, was named as the boy who drowned off the coast of Te Awa, Napier, on Friday afternoon. Photo / Supplied
Marama Te Pou, 7, was named as the boy who drowned off the coast of Te Awa, Napier, on Friday afternoon. Photo / Supplied

Marewa School on Sunday confirmed in a Facebook post that Marama passed away after the tragedy on Friday.

A statement from the school to its community said Marama was the beloved son and paua of Liana Te Pou and Marama Te Waa, much loved brother of Neshaiah and Chaz, Mithias and Autumn, Sapphire and Cedar, Shavaughn and Nathan, Halo and his twin Te Whetu Kotahi.

The statement also said a nehu (a service held as part of his tangi) was to be held at the Te Aranga Mārae, Flaxmere, on Tuesday, before he is laid to rest at Mangaroa Cemetery.

The NCC spokeswoman also said the dangers of the water along Marine Parade are not known by all.

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"Unfortunately, the hazards associated with the Marine Parade beach are still not widely known by visitors and locals," she said.

According to NCC, a signage review was undertaken in 2017 following a beach assessment by Surf Lifesaving NZ highlighting the hazards on Marine Parade.

The number and size of signs were increased, while international symbols were added to the signs.

Surf Life Saving NZ has urged the public to
Surf Life Saving NZ has urged the public to "keep children close enough to cuddle and never swim alone". Photo / Paul Taylor

"Our water safety brochure was provided to hotels and motels and made available at the i-site, the Napier libraries and on our website," the spokeswoman added.

"We urge you to stay away from Marine Parade Beach, the combination of unexpected waves and sudden drop off makes this beach dangerous for swimming."

It is understood the boy, known as Boombie, was among a group who were swept out to sea from the water's edge beside a freedom camping ground.

Surf Life Saving NZ has urged beach goers to be extra vigilant when taking to the beach, and reminded the public to "keep children close enough to cuddle and never swim alone".

Surf Life Saving New Zealand national lifesaving manager Allan Mundy said: "People think they are able, but haven't done an honest check of themselves. If they are in doubt of their ability in conditions then stay out, don't go in.

"The waves might look alright, but the rips are still there. If you're unsure that what you're looking at is a rip, don't get in the water. If in doubt, stay out."

Mundy added: "Swim between the red and yellow flags at a lifeguarded beach and remember the 3Rs – Relax and float, Raise your hand and Ride the rip."