A man who fled police ended up turning to officers for help after they rescued him from drowning.

Tequila Pomepi, 17, admitted a raft of driving charges. He stole a car from Port Rd on Saturday and was seen by police speeding down the road.

When police gave chase, Pomepi abandoned the car and entered the water near Port Whangarei and attempted to swim to Onerahi.

An officer waded into the water to rescue him, after he swum about 50m before appearing to get into trouble.

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Pomepi, who appeared in Whangarei District Court, was also facing charges of burglary and possession of instruments for burglary, to which he previously pleaded guilty. He will be sentenced on July 20.