This afternoon the Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter was dispatched where a 17-year-old Taupo man had got into difficulties while swimming in the surf.

He was taken by ambulance to the Te Kaha medical centre as a result of near drowning.

The helicopter was called to airlift him to Whakatane for further treatment, due to him swallowing a significant amount of sea water.

The helicopter was also dispatched to Eastern Bay of Plenty settlement Torere where a 51-year-old local woman was suffering a serious medical event.

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She was stabilised at the scene by St John paramedics before being airlifted directly to Waikato hospital for specialist treatment.