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A Nissan Tiida, being driven towards Aramoana, left Aramoana Rd at Deborah Bay at 4.37pm yesterday, landing in the sea amid rocks.
The driver, who received only minor injuries, was given a ride from the scene by police, and the car was recovered and towed away.
Mr White, who is a paramedic when not volunteering as a firefighter, said that after the initial crash, a vehicle heading in the same direction had later overtaken another car and come close to where some firefighters were standing.
This was despite the flashing lights of emergency vehicles being visible several hundred metres away.
The overtaking manoeuvre was unsafe under the circumstances, and drivers needed to remember a 20kmh speed limit applied from reaching an accident sign until the accident scene was passed, Mr White said.