A man in Germany who pulled over to answer the call of nature had the misfortune of watching his brand-new car roll into a river, rescue services said on Thursday.

The 69-year-old man had stopped to relieve himself at a ferry wharf in the town of Leer in north-western Germany, but forgot to apply the handbrake on his four-week-old vehicle.

The man had to watch as his car rolled down a steep road into the Ems River where it ended up submerged up to its roof.

However, his totally destroyed vehicle was pulled from the river by the fire brigade.