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Christchurch men Jay Andrews and Harry McArthur needed an aqua assistance beach breakdown service after they managed to sink Mr French's four-wheel-drive in Lake Wanaka.
Mr French said he tried to launch his boat into the lake from Eely Point, but had run into difficulty. His friends were forced to clamber out of the car's windows as the vehicle started to take on water.
A rogue current had swept away his trailer and pulled his car into the lake, after they had launched the boat, he claimed.
Canterbury boat owner Michael Horgan came to the rescue of the pair and helped to pull Mr French's waterlogged car back to shore with assistance from a Clutha River Jet boat.
The car was insured; "But, it's stuffed now," Mr French said.