There is a big push to stop people from swimming at the dangerous beach in Napier's city centre.
This summer, lifeguards will be gone from the Marine Parade Beach and will instead patrol the sheltered Ahuriri Beach, which is growing in popularity.
The long, pebbly stretch of Marine Parade Beach in central Napier may look inviting - with views of Cape Kidnappers in one direction and the panorama of Hawke's Bay in the other.
But locals warn this is a beach you probably want to avoid.
"The beach is so steep and it falls off quite quickly and the waves can be quite big and rough and I'd be scared of sharks," one woman lounging by the beach said.
"It's deemed unsafe - and the amount of drownings - I've also told people that have turned up from out of town thinking 'oh, here's a beach', I've actually gone up to them and said 'do not swim here, carry on around the point there,'" said another.
Wade Burrell, operations manager for the beachside bike shop Fish Bike, agreed it was not a beach for beginners - but he swam there nearly every day in summer.
"If you're not a competent swimmer then don't go but I've been swimming since I was very very young, I'm a strong swimmer so I enjoy it.''
Passers-by do not have to go far into the water to be in danger - a coroner found the seven-year-old was playing in the shallows when a huge wave pushed him out.
Napier City Council recently put up warning signs across the beachfront, saying swimming was not advised.
Mayor Kirsten Wise grew up in Napier and said it had never been a safe spot.
"This is certainly not a swimming beach - it has a really steep drop-off, a strong undertow and you can really get caught out at the water's edge."
The council has worked with Surf Life Saving to change the home base for the surf life guards, who for decades have been stationed at Marine Parade.
Analysis by Surf Live Saving found over recent years there were less swimmers congregating at Marine Parade due to its unsafe reputation.
This year, for the first time lifeguards will be based at the Hardinge Road beaches around the corner in Ahuriri, which more swimmers are starting to visit.
These beaches face north and are protected from the large easterly swells that batter Marine Parade.
Pacific Surf Life Saving Club chairman Harry Machiela said he was well aware of Marine Parade's steep drop-off.
"We can take some of our young kids out and by the time we've gone about three metres through those first waves, I'll get them to duck down and see if they can grab a handful of gravel from the bottom and it's already too deep at that point."
Surf life saving patrols start in Ahuriri this weekend.
But Machiela was still bracing for trouble on Marine Parade.
He was worried about a glorious day in the city but a storm out at sea, which would mean the the swell on Marine Parade would be mad.
"At times like that, we may actually close down the flagged area at the Hardinge Road beach and move our patrol back to Marine Parade and just have it as what's called an observational patrol. So, that basically means that we're going to be going up and down the Marine Parade, advising people to get out of the water."
Patrols usually start at 12pm and go until 5pm.
They will run until early March, while there will be weekday patrols through the school holidays.