A brief search has found a man who swam away after a vehicle went into the chilly waters of Otago Harbour at Broad Bay this morning.

A police spokeswoman said the vehicle went into the water near Bacon St about 5.35am.

An Otago Daily Times photographer at the scene said two 20-year-old women were out of the car, cold and wet, and had been taken to Dunedin Hospital for a check.

Emergency services at the scene this morning. Photo / ODT
Emergency services at the scene this morning. Photo / ODT

A third person, a man believed to be the driver, was last seen "swimming across the bay", an officer at the scene said.

Advertisement

Coastguard, fire crews and Search and Rescue personnel were involved in the search for the man. Fire and Emergency spokesman Mau Barbara says crews had been using a thermal imaging camera to search for the man.

However, by 7.25am the man had been found sheltering in bushes not far from the rescue vehicles, and was in police custody.

By 7.15am a tow truck had hauled the vehicle out of the water.