Six passengers managed to escape a sinking ute as their attempt to cross a South Island river became stuck in the mud.
The four-wheel drive was submerged in the Opihi River in South Canterbury and the current swept it along for 16 metres.
Vehicle owner Jayden Thomson told Fairfax his girlfriend and the others escaped out the back windows.
"Me and my mates were out there and we were just going through and it got too deep. I think I missed the track [across the water]. It was downstream," he said.
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The 4WD sank from the front first, but Mr Thomson said "luckily" the two back windows were open.
His vehicle was fished out yesterday. It was drying off and seemed OK.
"It was actually all good. We had my girlfriend there, she was a bit flustered," Mr Thomson told Fairfax.
Police were looking into what happened, while the Environment Canterbury regional council was unaware of the incident but warned an infringement could be issued.
A Temuka resident found the 4WD sitting "in the rapids and an inch of the top of the cab showing".
"It happened at 4pm on Sunday night. People were on the south side and they decided to cross the river," he told Fairfax.