Photos - Port Stephens SES
Two police officers have been treated from hypothermia following a frantic search at the Lemon Tree Passage boat ramp overnight.
A car was allegedly driven 15 metres into the water, and when police arrived a 34-year-old man told them he was a passenger in the vehicle and the driver was still inside.
The officers swam to the silver sedan and tried to gain access to the car but were unable to do so.
However once the car was winched back to shore no one was found inside.
The man claiming to be a passenger has undergone mandatory testing and is helping police with their inquiries.