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Minor car accidents can often prove more embarrassing than dangerous for the driver involved. Have you ever sat red-faced as a moment's inattention has seen you run into the bumper of the car in front? Perhaps you've been left with head in hands after failing to notice the bollard that's put a huge scratch down your rear wing?

Anyone who's been in a similar situation will likely have an ounce of sympathy for this Chinese motorist, who had to be rescued by crane – in front of a crowd of jeering onlookers – after he drove his car into a river in the city of Nanjing.

Unlucky Ye Hseih, 27, found himself sinking into the riverbed when he lost control of his vehicle. He left the road after being distracted by his mobile phone.

He explained: "I was going quite quickly and my phone went off. I didn't answer it but it distracted me for long enough to take my eye off the road," reports Orange News.

"The next thing I knew I was flying through the air and then 'splash'."

Thankfully he was uninjured in the accident, and managed to climb through the window and onto the car's roof as the water levels began to rise.

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Witness Qian Chuang said: "This time of year the river gets a lot of slimy, smelly weed on the surface.

"He was only 10 metres from the bank so he could have swum back or even waded in safely but I think he was afraid to get his nice clothes wet.

"So instead he climbed onto the roof of his car and asked people to call for help."

The careless motorist and his drowned car were eventually plucked from the riverbed by rescuers with a crane.

Local police have yet to decide whether to charge Ye with a driving offence over the incident. The hapless driver will however have to pay local rescue services for getting him out of his tight spot.

Have you ever managed to get your car somewhere it really shouldn't be? Have your say in the comments section below.