A 14-year-old boy on a school kayaking trip had to be airlifted to hospital after suffering chest pain.

The Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter was called out to the Mohaka River, in the Hawke's Bay, yesterday afternoon after a locator beacon device was activated.

The helicopter crew - also helped by the NZ Rescue Corporation Centre - soon arrived at the scene, where a group of school children had been taking part in a kayaking exercise for the day.

The teenage boy was airlifted to the Hawke's Bay Regional Hospital for treatment.