A 40-year-old local man has been flown to Tauranga Hospital after he suffered a serious leg injury while rafting down the Wairoa River.

Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter pilot Todd Dunham said the man, who was member of a rafting party, suffered the injury after he fell in the raft, about 200m below McLaren Falls.

The 111 call came in about lunchtime today, he said.

Mr Dunham said: "Due to the amount of pain the man was in he couldn't be carried out, and because he was in unaccessible area we had to winch a paramedic down to him.


"Once the paramedic was stablished the patient in the raft, the injured man was put into a stretcher and winched up into the helicopter, and flown to hospital," he said.

Mr Dunham said the rescue helicopter had a busy afternoon with back-to back callouts.

"We had just arrived back at base, when we were called to Te Kaha Medical Centre about 4pm to fly a quite sick seven-year-old boy to Whakatane Hospital," he said.