After a three-hour search for a missing jet skier who was found safe on shore, Coastguard has issued advice for people heading out on the water this summer.

Emergency services, including the rescue helicopter, spent three hours searching for the man, who flipped his jet ski off Marine Parade in Napier, before locating him safe and sound on shore.

Hawke's Bay Rescue Helicopter Trust general manager Ian Wilmot said the search mission cost the "best part of $10,000".

"We searched for an hour and a half and the cost is roughly $6000 per hour of searching, so that is almost $10,000," he said.


"We went out with two pilots, because two sets of eyes are always better than one, and a paramedic. We also took all of our water rescue stuff.

"He was picked up by a nearby boat and taken back in, but nobody ever bothered to let us know he'd been recovered," Wilmot said.

Hawke's Bay Coastguard skipper Henry van Tuel said there are several things people can do to keep safe on the water this summer.

He said always check the weather before going out, and make sure people know where you are going and how many people are onboard.

This can be done through the Coastguard on VHF01.

He said always carry two forms of waterproof communication, such as a VHF radio and a cellphone.

Don't drink while on the water and always wear a lifejacket were the final pieces of advice.

"It's very easy to slip over the side of the boat, or something happens and you end up in the water, and the life jacket will certainly save your life."


He said if you do end up in the water, unless you are within 50m of the shore, the best thing to do is stay still and don't panic.

He also said to get into the "help position" which is knees to chest, as it will help keep you warm.

The search was extensive. Photo / Paul Taylor
The search was extensive. Photo / Paul Taylor

"When you are in the water you lose body temperature 25 times faster than if you are in the air, so you've got to stay warm.

"Stay calm, if people know where you are, then obviously we can come and get you."

If you are recused from the water, or rescue someone else, he asked people let either Coastguard, Maritime Radio or the police know.

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Constable Brian Halse, from Hawke's Bay Search and Rescue said police were notified of Wednesday's incident by two members of the public, around 7.40am who could hear someone screaming "help", before noticing something around 500-600 metres from the shore.

At one point during the search, he said drowning was certainly a possibility.

Police later confirmed they managed to find the man on shore in a healthy state.

They could not yet confirm the time line of events but say that after the man had flipped his jet ski he was picked up by a local boat and taken to shore where Police located him.

Leisure craft were on the scene quickly, with coastguard and the rescue helicopter also originally deployed to help in the search.

Early on in the search authorities located a half submerged jet ski, which was then recovered and brought to shore.