Key Points:

A 45-year-old man almost drowned in Lake Taupo today when his leg became wedged in rocks as he tried to climb out.

Police said the man was swimming with younger companions in deep water near a rocky outcrop at Whakamoenga Point when he got into trouble and quickly became exhausted trying to free himself and stay above water.

His companions called for help and a nearby resident called emergency services then dived in to hold his head above water for more than 20 minutes .

The resident and an ambulance officer eventually freed the man who was flown to Taupo Hospital where he was treated for exhaustion and lacerations to his leg.