A Napier police constable stripped to his underwear to inspect a stolen vehicle spotted submerged in the Ahuriri estuary yesterday morning.

Constable Mel Hunter had the dubious honours of Speedo Cop for the day as he waded out to check the car in his underwear.

Acting Sergeant Kevin Dolbel said police arrived at the estuary before 9am to find the "stolen dumped car".

"The vehicle had been stolen on October 6," he said.


"There had been some obvious damage and we found a big brick on the accelerator.

"We made sure our constable was in his good undies for that one," said Mr Dolbel.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council environmental officer Ian Lilburn was on his way to work when he noticed the partially submerged vehicle near the Westshore Sea Scouts before calling police.

"I was coming across the Pandora Rd bridge, just looking around as I usually do on my way to work, when I saw something in the water sticking out," Mr Lilburn said.

"When I first drove by you always think 'is there someone in there?"'

As an environmental officer, Mr Lilburn said he was delighted that the vehicle was towed out of the water quickly before the oil in the engine could cause any harm.