A new external velocity field for active contours is proposed. The velocity field is based on magnetostatics and hypothesised magnetic interactions between the active contour and image gradients. In this paper, we introduce the method and study its convergence capability for the recovery of shapes with complex topology and geometry, including deep, narrow concavities. The proposed active contour can be arbitrarily initialised. Level sets are used to achieve topological freedom. The proposed method is compared against shape recovery methods based on distance vector flow, constant flow, generalised version of GVF, geodesic GGVF, and curvature vector flow.