Luck was on Lee Page’s side when his car crashed through a bridge railing and dropped 12ft into a brook at Bardwell.
His Citroën Saxo land the right way up in 2.5ft of water but a woman jogger had seen the accident so was able to get two men who were passing by to help him out of the water.
Then the house they went to for help turned out to have an Australia paramedic on hand to check him over.
Lee, 26, was only driving at 30-40mph from his home in Barnigham to a garage to check his tyres at about 6.30pm on Tuesday, when his steering went light as he appeared to hit ice in Spring Road.
The car did two spins and went backwards into the brook, though not before a bridge railing had punched through the passenger side windscreen.
Lee said: “It wasn’t until I got out into the water that the cold hit me. It took my breath away and I couldn’t get up the sides, so I climbed on the car’s roof.
“The lady who witnessed it couldn’t get me out, so she asked two lads who were going by to get me out.
“If she hadn’t seen it I would have been there a very very long time – the road is quiet and you couldn’t see down there from a car.”
One of the rescuers went to a nearby house asking for blankets and householder Chris Roberts said to bring Lee in, where they also gave him a change of clothes.
Luckily, Chris’s so Nick had arrived that day from Australia, where he is a paramedic, and was able to check him over as they waited for an ambulance.
Nick said: “He was pretty cold and wet and shaken up, but no serious injuries.
“He was lucky. There are so many things that could have gone wrong for him. Normally, when you see a car like that you expect to see casualties.”
Lee, who says his seatbelt saved him, said he was grateful to all those who came to his aid.
“There was the whole family in the house and they all looked after me,” he said.