A man trapped in a submerged car after a crash near Paengaroa last night has now been released from hospital.
The 56-year-old Rotorua man was taken to Tauranga Hospital after the crash on State Highway 33. The man's car left the road between Maniatutu Rd and Allport Rd about 7.50pm.
Maketu firefighter Shane Beech said the man had been trapped in his car, which had rolled upside down into a roadside ditch that was full of water.
However, off-duty firefighters living in the area and first on the scene helped to free the man who received further treatment when emergency services arrived soon after.
The brigade sometimes rings its members to help if they are in the area and can likely reach an incident in quicker time than the firefighters on duty.
Beech said there had been a few crashes on that stretch of road "at the bottom of that hill" within the past week.
St John ambulance reported the man was taken to hospital in a serious condition.
A Tauranga Hospital spokesman said the man was discharged on Friday morning.