Police suspicions have proved correct after the fugitive they were searching for in the Grey River was found safe and with family last night.
It is believed the man was avoiding police after they tried to stop him for a driving offence on Saturday morning. He was last seen floating in an estuary, calling for help.
A dive squad failed to find him, and when the man's family didn't contact them, police grew suspicious the suspect had made it out alive.
He was tracked down in Christchurch last night.