A seriously injured woman was airlifted to hospital after a rogue wave hit a boat off the eastern Bay of Plenty this morning

The 51-year-old victim was helping her husband pull a craypot on board their aluminium dinghy when the wave struck, flinging the couple on to rocks north of Te Kaha, 70km northeast of Opotiki.

The woman suffered serious back and abdominal pain and several fractures but despite her injuries, managed with the help of her husband, to climb a steep bank before he went to get assistance.

St John paramedics stabilised the woman in a paddock near the scene before she was flown by the Bay Trust Rescue Helicopter to Whakatane hospital for further treatment