PolAir was called in overnight to help police track down a man, after he jumped into the Tweed River just after 7pm.
Residents at a local caravan park called police about the intoxicated man, but he started swimming away from the shore when officers approached.
Marine Rescue volunteers searched the water around Tweed Heads South, but were forced to call in PolAir.
The 26-year-old was later arrested on nearby Boyds Island and charged with domestic violence matters.
He remains in custody and will appear in court later today.