Witnesses told Stuff.co.nz the woman drove off of a rock wall surrounding a parking lot at Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand, and into the ocean. Her BMW immediately began filling with sea water.
Bystanders called police and made their own attempts to save the woman. Officers Paul Watts and Simon Russell also tried to open her car doors and smash the windows with a baton. Their failed efforts wasted precious time. The woman soon had to crawl toward the back window, the last part of her car not completely submerged in water.
Officer Watts smashed the window with a rock and they were finally able to pull her to safety. Watts told The New Zealand Herald the woman was moments away from drowning. Seconds after extracting her the car sank completely into the ocean.
"It was pretty close, probably 30 or 40 seconds after we managed to get the female out of the car, the car was already slipping further into the water," Watts told the Herald.
Police are still investigating what caused the accident. The woman was in shock and suffered cuts and bruises. She is in stable condition at a local hospital.