Key Points:

A four-year-old boy is in Rotorua Hospital after badly burning his feet in natural hot springs at Lake Tarawera today.

Detective Sergeant John Wilson said police were called about 12.50pm after the boat the boy was on broke down on the lake.

He had received serious burns to his feet at Hot Water Beach natural springs.

The Rotorua Lake Coastguard and the Rotorua-based BayTrust Helicopter found the boat, and a police officer was dropped into the lake from the helicopter.

"Once coastguard arrived, the child was transferred to shore to the waiting helicopter, then flown to Rotorua hospital for treatment," Mr Wilson said.

- NZPA