Police used sirens to track down a man who drove 30m down a steep bank in rural west Auckland.
The man was driving back from Piha this morning when he veered off the road, and his car became stuck in a vertical position surrounded by thick vines and bush.
He began honking his car horn frantically for someone to hear him and then dialled 111, but had no idea where he was.
He told emergency services he was somewhere between Piha and Blockhouse Bay and, not long after that, his phone died.
Henderson road policing supervisor Warrick Danton was one of those who went out looking for him.
He said three police cars, two ambulances and two fire engines canvassed the area, sounding their sirens until the man could hear them and respond.
"We used police sirens for him to tell us when we were close and then, when that occurred, we got him to sound his horn to track down where he was."
Sergeant Danton said the man escaped with no major injuries because of his seatbelt.
"As the car went down and landed suddenly, the seatbelt saved him from hitting his head ... The car was mainly secured by the vines and the bush, which had become entangled as the car went down."
It was a lesson in driving to the conditions, especially in an area like Piha with long and windy roads, he said.
It took about 20 minutes using a winch to retrieve the man's car from where it had crashed.