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Man who fled police 20 days ago caught

AAP logoAAP 30/12/2016

Two men have been charged with leading police on a 23km pursuit through northern NSW before driving their van into a river and trying to swim away.

A 37-year-old had been hunted by police since December 11 after allegedly pointing a gun at police while fleeing a roadside breath-test at Coffs Harbour and going into hiding.

The man was finally spotted almost 200km away at Woodburn, south of Ballina, around 1am on Saturday.

Officers say they tried to stop the 37-year-old but he sped off, travelling about 23 kilometres before driving off a ferry terminal at South Ballina.

Water and air police were called in after he and a 24-year-old man were seen swimming away down the river.

The pair were nabbed around 2.15am and refused bail to face Lismore Bail Court on Sunday charged with a raft of offences.

Their van has been towed from the river and sent off for forensic testing.

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