A motorcyclist was seriously injured and airlifted to hospital after crashing his bike into a car this afternoon.

The accident happened in Waimana in the rural Bay of Plenty shortly before 12.45pm.

The Trustpower Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT) rescue helicopter was sent to Waimana Rd.

The 21-year-old man had serious arm and leg injuries and St John paramedics stabilised him at the scene.

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Philips Search and Rescue Trust said firefighters closed the road so the helicopter could land close to the scene.

Because of the severity of the young man's injuries, and the distance from Tauranga Hospital, about 115km away by road, it was decided he should be airlifted.