A 17-year-old Taupo man was taken by helicopter to hospital today after almost drowning in the sea.

The man was first taken to the Te Kaha Medical Centre by ambulance before being taken to Whakatane Hospital for further treatment. He had swallowed a significant amount of water.

Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter was also dispatched to Torere in eastern Bay of Plenty early this morning to assist a 51-year-old local woman who was suffering a serious medical event.

The woman was stabilised at the scene by St John paramedics before being airlifted to Waikato Hospital for specialist treatment.