Taking a dive preferable to a duck

A duck and her ducklings waddled across Portobello Rd yesterday oblivious to the crash they caused.

Dunedin man Iain Sweetman said his Jeep ended up in  Otago Harbour about 9.10am after he swerved to avoid the family of what were believed to be Paradise ducks.

A Jeep ended up in Otago Harbour  after its driver lost control of the vehicle after braking to...
A Jeep ended up in Otago Harbour after its driver lost control of the vehicle after braking to avoid a duck and ducklings. Photos: Gregor Richardson
Mr Sweetman said he "emergency" braked while travelling around a blind corner so as not to hit the birds.

When he braked, the rear of the Jeep locked, causing the vehicle to spin  and roll over a bank into the water, he said.

Damaging the Jeep was the lesser of two evils.

"Well, I’m not happy. The old Jeep was a great joy but I’d probably be feeling a lot more cut up if the ducks had been killed.

"You get to know them pretty well when they’re marching the chicks around everywhere this time of year." 

As the vehicle fell about 4m into the harbour, he had a momentary thought about whether the tide was in or out, he said.

Mr Sweetman had been working on the Jeep as a summer project, and remained philosophical about restoring it, saying  that  would just take a bit longer now.

A police spokeswoman said Mr Sweetman was out of the vehicle before emergency services arrived.

He was assessed by St John  staff at the scene.

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