Newcastle Council has voted to investigate sponsorship opportunities to reinstate lifeguard services in the shoulder season.

Newcastle Council has reduced the season for paid patrols at Newcastle, Stockton, Dixon Park and Merewether beaches and is only using volunteer lifeguards on weekends, a saving of 210-thousand dollars to council's budget.

The move has come under fire after several near drownings.

A notice of motion by councillor Nuatali Nelmes to look for sponsorship to fund the reinstate of the original patrolled season and paid lifeguards on Saturdays was voted down last night.

But a similar motion by councillor Andrea Ruffo was successful, with council to investigate sponsorship opportunities.

It will also survey beach goes this season to ensure that the all year round patrolled sites of Nobbys and Bar Beaches and Newcastle Ocean Bars are still the most popular swimming locations.