A naked man, reportedly a mobster, was arrested on the banks of the Ngaruroro River in the early hours of Saturday morning after a police pursuit of a stolen car.
Police used road spikes on the vehicle at about 1am on Saturday morning and it came to a halt on the Fern Hill side of the Ngaruroro River bridge on State Highway 50.
Senior Sergeant Ross Smith said the three occupants ran off on foot, with two jumping into the river in an unsuccessful attempt to evade capture.
Tracking dogs were deployed and the two swimmers located, one naked.
Both were taken to hospital with mild hypothermia.
The men were due to appear in Hastings District Court today and police were following good lines of enquiry on the third man.
Mr Smith said only the naked swimmer could answer why he removed his clothes.
"I presume it is because he has dived into the river and didn't want to drown," he said.